The prevention of medication errors is a serious concern in the United States, and everyone should be aware of the dangers involved with prescription drug mistakes. However, when we think about drug error prevention, we often blame doctors, nurses, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and other health care employees for failing to be thorough in their efforts. Since these parties do cause many unnecessary medication errors, they should do all they can to learn how to prevent medication mistakes from occurring in the first place. However, patients are also part of the equation, and they can do their own part in preventing possible prescription medication errors.
For example, a study about colored warning labels on medication bottles revealed that some patients do not really read their prescription pill bottles. According to the study published in the journal PLOS One, many people failed to pay adequate attention to the brightly colored warning labels on their medication bottles. A group of graduate students at the School of Packaging, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, conducted this important study to watch patients’ eye movements as they examined prescriptions bottles.
The study observed 15 people in their 20s, and 17 people aged 50 and older as they viewed five different pill bottles. Each prescription vial contained a brightly colored warning label with contrasting lettering. The participants were then asked to select the five labels they had seen on the pill bottles from a stack of 10 labels. The study revealed the following:
- Those 51-77 years of age were less likely to remember the warning labels than younger people
- Older people were less likely to look at the warning labels
- Poor label recall was caused from lack of attention
Because elderly patients had a hard time recalling warning labels, it is an indicator of the following:
- Labeling standards should be revised to become more effective
- Patients need to do a better job of fully reading all the information on their pill bottles and paying closer attention to the warning stickers
If you have been harmed due to a pharmacy error that was not your fault, please call Kennedy Hodges to speak with a pharmacy malpractice lawyer in a free consultation at 888-526-7616. You can also download our FREE book, How to Make Pharmacies Pay For Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.