Medication errors in healthcare are a daunting reality that healthcare providers and patients encounter nationwide every day. These errors can occur in various forms – incorrect dosage, wrong medication, or harmful drug interactions, to name a few. Unfortunately, these mistakes often lead to severe health complications, sometimes even proving to be fatal.
This blog aims to provide insight on how to prevent such errors and, if they do transpire, how to navigate the complex process of seeking legal recourse.
Understanding The Causes of Medication Errors in Healthcare
Medication errors in healthcare can occur for several different reasons. Some of the most common causes include:
- Communication issues: Miscommunication between a healthcare professional/doctor and the patient can lead to errors. This could be due to illegible handwriting of the healthcare professional, incorrect use of abbreviations, or misunderstanding verbal orders.
- Workplace environment: An excessively stressful work environment, heavy workload, or frequent interruptions at work can contribute to these errors. As healthcare professionals rush through work, they are more likely to make mistakes.
- System errors: Problems with the healthcare system, such as lack of proper protocols, inadequate staff training, and technological errors, can also cause medication errors in healthcare.
Understanding these causes is the first step toward taking preventive measures. Regular communication with healthcare providers, ensuring a clear understanding of medication instructions, and routinely reviewing and updating medications can drastically reduce the likelihood of errors.
Proactive Steps to Prevent Medication Errors
Now that you have a better understanding of the causes of medication errors, let’s discuss some practical steps you can take to ensure the safety of your loved ones.
- Always maintain an updated list of your medications: Keep a list of the prescribed drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and dietary supplements your loved one is taking. Take note of the dosage and frequency of each medication to ensure accuracy and effectiveness in their healthcare routine. By keeping this detailed record, you can provide the necessary information to healthcare professionals and effectively manage your loved one’s medication regimen.
- Use one pharmacy: It is highly recommended to use one pharmacy for filling all of your prescriptions, if possible. By consistently using the same pharmacy, you enable the pharmacist to efficiently cross-check medications for any potential drug interactions. This can greatly enhance overall safety and ensure the optimal effectiveness of the prescribed treatments.
- Equip yourself with information: Always ask questions if you don’t understand something about your loved one’s medication. By actively seeking knowledge and staying informed, you can enhance your understanding of their treatment plan, potential side effects, and interactions. The more knowledgeable you are, the better equipped you will be to spot potential errors and ensure the best possible care for your loved one.
Seeking Legal Help: A Guided Process
Despite your best efforts at prevention, medication errors can still occur. If your loved one has been affected due to a medical professional’s negligence or mistake, it is essential to know what legal action to take.
The first step should always be seeking the help of an experienced medical malpractice attorney who is well-versed in such cases and can provide you with the necessary counsel to protect your rights. This may be challenging, though; researching and selecting an attorney can seem overwhelming.
Here are a few tips that can help make the process easier:
- Check their credentials: It is essential to ensure an attorney’s credentials before hiring them for your case. Look for reviews from previous clients and ask if they have prior experience in your specific case.
- Ask questions: It is highly recommended to have a list of questions prepared before your initial consultation with the lawyer. This can help you gain clarity on their fee structure, timeline, and plan for the case.
- Don’t be afraid to speak up: It is imperative to feel comfortable with a lawyer and confident they will adequately protect your loved one’s rights.
Ultimately, an attorney’s role is to provide you with legal counsel and resources to seek justice for your loved one who has been affected due to medication errors in healthcare.
Fight for Justice: Preventing Medical Errors and Protecting Your Loved Ones
No family should have to suffer due to a medical professional’s negligence or mistake. By understanding the causes of medication errors in healthcare and taking proactive steps to prevent them, you can ensure that your loved one receives adequate care and safety. If a medication error has occurred, seeking legal help is paramount to ensure justice and protect rights.
We at Join Class Actions and Siri & Glimstad LLP understand the gravity of such situations and are committed to providing you with the right resources so that your loved one is adequately taken care of. If you or a loved one was a victim of medical malpractice, feel free to connect with Jen Malainy now by filling out this form:
Join Class Actions: Medical Malpractice – All States
Jen Malainy has extensive medical and legal education and experience and has worked within the world-renowned hospital, Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF). She is available 24/7 at 440-381-0338.
We understand that most families are unaware of the legal process and don’t know who to turn to, so we are here for you whenever you need us. Contact us today, and let us help you fight for justice and payment following a medication error.