For decades, Maryland medication errors have been one of the leading causes of death across the state. For about as long, the pharmacy industry has been trying to come up with ways to reduce these errors, both in terms of their frequency and seriousness. Technological advancements have played a significant role in the reduction of Maryland pharmacy errors, ranging from electronic prescribing, to automatic warning systems that indicate when a patient may be at risk for particularly dangerous interactions.
All technological advancements, however, are not without their own set of risks. In fact, there is a major concern that placing too much reliance on computer systems may prevent the next generation of pharmacists from fully understanding the nuances of their profession. This is especially a problem if a computer system crashes or is otherwise unavailable, perhaps during an emergency.
Notwithstanding the potential concerns of around the use of technology, it is perhaps the best hope to improve the healthcare system. For example, according to a recent news report, an Israeli doctor recently developed a program that is designed to catch prescription errors early on in the process, before the medication is provided to the patient. The doctor looked at how the typical prescription error occurred, noting that there were several points along the way where an error should be noticed. However, due to what he called systemic failure, these errors were routinely being missed.
The doctor was inspired by the programs used by credit card companies to detect fraud. The doctor explained that, as consumers use their credit card over time, patterns emerge. Perhaps a cardholder regularly goes to the same grocery stores and gas stations. If suddenly an unusual transaction appears in another country, the credit card company will flag it as potential fraud, and will reach out to the cardholder. Credit card companies have been successful in creating programs to “learn” a consumer’s habits.
The doctor created a similar program that was capable of learning a patient’s typical medication profile. The system would warn prescribers if a medication that was about to be given to the patient came up as a potential problem based on the patient’s previous history. The doctor called the program a machine learning outlier detection system. Currently, the system is used in hospitals and doctors’ offices across the United States, and is estimated to have helped six million patients get the correct medication and avoid serious pharmacy errors.
Have You Been the Victim of a Maryland Pharmacy Error?
If you or someone you love has recently been the victim of a Maryland pharmacy error, contact the dedicated personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC today. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we handle complex Maryland pharmacy error cases and other claims involving medical malpractice. We have a dedicated team of Maryland medical malpractice attorneys who work closely with our clients as well as an extensive network of expert witnesses across the country. To learn more about how we can help you pursue a claim for compensation for the injuries you have sustained, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation today.