As anyone who has ever been frustrated by a problem knows, taking a walk before coming back to the problem can often help you complete the task. According to new research, this same “time out” may help protect patients against harmful prescription drug mistakes.
Health care providers are more likely to discover a serious medication error, including one they made themselves, if there is time between rechecks, according to Dr. Ginette Pepper, associate dean for research at the University of Utah College of Nursing in Salt Lake City.
Pepper recommends a “time out” before administering, even when the health care professional is:
- On his own. Studies have shown that proofing your own work immediately after writing is less effective than doing it a short time later. Many people will “gloss over” errors they have just written, but will catch them when looking at the paper with fresh eyes.
- Double-checked by someone else. Although many hospital orders are rechecked by a second nurse before administration, the second nurse will tend to go along with what the first has read. Pepper suggests having one nurse read the doctor’s order aloud while the other checks the prescription label, and then switch roles and repeat the process.
Although it is possible to reduce the number of injuries caused by prescription medications, there is still a very real chance that these mistakes could happen to someone you love. If you need help with your prescription error case, call Kennedy Hodges today at (888) 526-7616 to start your FREE, one-on-one consultation, or click the link on this page to receive a FREE copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Your Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.