You trust your doctor and pharmacist to work together to take care of you, but they could become the reason you suffered a medication error. Do you know where or when medical professionals dropped the ball?
AMCP explores various facets of medication errors, including how they happen. By understanding how the incident occurred, you could help build your case.
Doctors do not always have easily readable handwriting. A hard-to-read prescription could lead to an error when pharmacists select the patient’s medicine or fill the order for medication.
Missing or insufficient details
Medical professionals must know how patients respond to doses, other medications a person takes, whether the patient reacts poorly to specific medications and laboratory values.
Wrong drug or dose
Poor handwriting or other mistakes could lead to a person taking the wrong medication or taking the wrong dosage for the correct prescription. Doctors may also prescribe a care regimen that patients or pharmacists cannot understand clearly, which could lead to prescription errors.
Misheard and misread prescriptions
Rather than write the name of a medication, your physician may communicate the information to you or your pharmacist verbally. If medications sound the same, you could receive the wrong one without realizing it.
Something similar may happen with handwritten prescriptions. Your medication’s spelling could look similar to a different prescription’s spelling. Health care professionals may dispense the wrong medication if they misread a handwritten note.
Poor medication review
Physicians may prescribe medication samples. When they do, they must protect patients by checking drug utilization reviews and medical documentation. Otherwise, they could contribute to patient harm.
You should not suffer for another’s negligence. Understanding the source of medication errors may help you identify the responsible party.