Most hospitals have nurses administering medications to patients; however, nurses are only allowed to do so with a physician’s order. While nurses work hard to avoid harming patients, factors like illegible prescription handwriting, tiredness, or distraction might contribute to medication mistakes.
In order to reduce risks to patients, some hospitals place pharmacists in emergency rooms to review prescriptions. By having pharmacists on hand in hospitals, they are able to review patients’ current medications, allergies, and other factors that could affect the health of patients when receiving new medication. In addition to putting pharmacists in the ER, hospitals should have nurse-pharmacist teams so that nurses can consult with pharmacists about patients’ medication. Having programs like this in place aids in reducing medication errors—and helping patients stay safe.
While doctors and pharmacists are known to have more knowledge about medications than nurses, doctors can also make mistakes and get a similar drug confused with another. Additionally, pharmacists may mistakenly give the correct drug to a patient but the wrong dosage. Unfortunately, there is no foolproof way to eliminate medication errors in hospitals because healthcare workers are human. They might be overworked, distracted, tired, or in a rush, leading them to make medication mistakes.
If you or a loved one received the wrong medication or wrong dosage of drugs from a nurse, doctor, or pharmacist, you may have a malpractice claim. To learn more about your rights, check out our other articles and blogs or request a free copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.