New York Hospital Implements Robotic System to Combat Medication Errors

In St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, a new robotic system is being used to fill IV medications. The new system, called RIVA, replaced the human element in the filling of medications in hopes that the high number of IV medication errors will drop.

According to a report in the New York Daily News, IV medication error rates rose 52% between the years of 2004 and 2008. These types of medical errors can often have drastic consequences, resulting in serious injury or death. In fact, each year there are 7,000 deaths from IV medication error, and hundreds of thousands get sick from medication-related errors. According to some estimates, the financial cost of medication errors exceeds $3.5 billion annually.

The new RIVA system uses artificial intelligence to fill the IVs and sterilizes the medication at the same time, using UV rays. Dr. Ruth Cassidy, vice president and chief pharmacy officer of St. Barnabas Hospital’s pharmacy department, explains that the new system decreases the chance of any medication error by completely removing the possibility for fatigue or contamination, the two main problems when humans are used to fill the medications.

Medication Errors Kill Thousands Each Year

St. Barnabas in the Bronx is just one of 33 hospitals nationwide to start using the robotic medication filling system to decrease patient injuries and deaths due to the administration of improper or contaminated medications. This is a very important first step towards increasing the overall safety of patients, for medication error is one of the leading causes of non-disease related patient death in hospitals across the county.

In many cases, these injuries or deaths could have been prevented, had the human element been removed from the equation. In such cases, the hospital may open itself up to financial liability to the victims of the medication error.

Medication Error Claims

Being too tired after a long shift may be a reason for a nurse administering the wrong medication, but it is not an excuse. The victims of medication error are entitled to recover for their injuries (or loss, in the event of a loved one’s death) from the institution that administered the wrong medication. In order to recover, however, the accident victim must be able to prove that the individual administering the drug was negligent.

Have You Been Injured By a Medication Error?

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a medication error, you may have the right to substantial compensation for your injuries or loss. Depending on why the error occurred, it may have been a preventable error that was due to the negligence of the hospital or pharmaceutical staff. If so, you may have a strong case to recover damages. To learn more about the laws of negligence as they pertain to medication errors, contact a dedicated Maryland medication error attorney today to discuss your case. Click here, or call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation today.

More Blog Posts:

Colorado Man Recovers Over $10 Million in Pharmaceutical Error Case, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, May 7, 2014.

Drug Manufacturers Consent to Oversight by Federal Agency Following Increased Scrutiny, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, June 4, 2014.

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