Recent Study Estimates In-patient Medication Errors Cost the U.S. Health Care System $16.4 Billion Annually

Medical errors account for a huge number of serious injuries and deaths across the United States each year. In fact, according to a recent report, medical errors are the third-most common cause of death in the United States. Included in the term “medical errors” are mistakes made by doctors, such as misdiagnoses, surgical errors, and medication errors.

No matter where in the health care system a serious error occurs, the medical professional responsible for the error may be held liable through a personal injury lawsuit. By virtue of caring for patients, doctors and pharmacists assume a responsibility to provide a certain level of care, as measured by the professional standard in that specific geographic area. When a physician’s or pharmacist’s performance falls short of this duty, they could be found liable for medical malpractice or general negligence, depending on the allegations.

According to a recent study conducted by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, approximately 1.5 million people are affected each year by medication errors. While many of these errors occur in the out-patient setting of retail pharmacies, a significant number of medication errors occur in the in-patient setting as well. In fact, according to a recent study conducted by the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation, preventable in-patient medication errors cost the U.S. health care system approximately $16.4 billion each year. This figure includes amounts for the treatment of preventable illnesses and diseases that were caused by medication errors, as well as the cost of hospital readmission. Importantly, this figure does not include the cost incurred from the many successful negligence and medical malpractice lawsuits that are settled or resolved each year.

Pharmacy Error Cases

As noted above, pharmacists have a duty to provide a certain level of care to their patients. Of course, regardless of that level of care, it includes accurately filling prescriptions by providing the correct drug, dosage amount, and instructions. If any of this crucial information is incorrect, a serious injury is likely to occur, and a personal injury lawsuit may then follow.

Proving a lawsuit arising out of a pharmacy error is not always easy, however. Often, a plaintiff will be required to present expert testimony to prove causation, which means that the medication error is what caused their symptoms. To learn more about medication errors, contact a dedicated pharmacy error attorney.

Have You Been the Victim of a Pharmacist’s Mistake?

If you or someone you care about has been a victim of a pharmacist’s negligence, you may be entitled to monetary compensation to help you recoup the costs associated with the mistake. The skilled personal injury lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have decades of combined experience representing clients in all kinds of medical malpractice and pharmacy error cases arising across the country. Call 410-654-3600 to set up a free consultation with an attorney today.

More Blog Posts:

Court Holds Insurance Company Must Defend Lawsuit Against Medication Distributor, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, August 1, 2016.

Pharmacy Errors Involving Injectable Drugs Administered in Medical Facilities, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, August 15, 2016.

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