Decades Of Experience In Personal Injury Law

How do prescription errors happen?

On Behalf of | Oct 6, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

Prescription errors are a reality in the world of healthcare. These mistakes can cause pain for patients, ranging from common injuries to life-threatening situations.

Understanding how prescription errors occur is an important part of preventing them.

Poor communication

Great communication is a sign of quality healthcare. Prescription errors often happen due to poor communication between healthcare professionals.

When doctors and pharmacists do not exchange information accurately, patients become vulnerable. Misunderstandings about drug dosages or allergies can lead to bad outcomes.

Bad handwriting

The handwriting of some healthcare providers can lead to prescription errors. Doctors frequently juggle multiple patients and may rush through their prescriptions. This can result in poorly written instructions. Pharmacists may misunderstand important details, such as drug names or dosages.

Similar-sounding medications

Companies often market drugs with similar-sounding names. In fact, there are almost 6,800 prescription medications out on the market in America.

This marketing strategy, while beneficial for drug sales, can lead to confusion among healthcare professionals. A simple mix-up can result in patients receiving the wrong medication. Healthcare providers must remain alert when prescribing medications with similar names.

Lack of proper training

Prescribing medications requires a high level of training. Inexperienced staff may make errors when selecting medications or dosages. Education and training are important to minimize these errors.

Health record issues

While electronic health records have helped healthcare, they are not without their pitfalls. Glitches, software errors or incorrect data entry can result in prescription errors. Healthcare facilities must invest in quality electronic systems and provide training.

Time pressure

In the fast-paced world of healthcare, time pressure can hurt the quality of care. Rushed medical professionals may overlook details. Reducing this pressure and allowing adequate time for careful prescription writing and review is important for preventing such errors.

Prescription errors can happen suddenly. By addressing the root causes of this problem, doctors can take significant strides towards ensuring patient safety.