It has been estimated that nearly five percent of prescriptions filled each year have errors, from dosage mistakes to simply not being the correct drug. In a world where a mistake could mean life or death, these odds are not promising.
How can medical professionals make such grave mistakes so frequently? There is no one answer, as the prescription “Swiss cheese” risk model is riddled with holes. If doctors hand-write prescriptions or use an unusual shorthand for dosage amounts, errors can occur. If pharmacists write down the wrong prescription or mislabel the bottle, errors can occur. Even the problematic pharmacist shortage leaves large opportunities for error, with fewer pharmacists trying to supervise busy pharmacy technicians with ever-increasing workloads.
Pinpointing How Your Prescription Error Occurred
Discovering what led to your prescription error can be difficult, but it will eventually boil down to one of two people—your doctor or your pharmacist. Finding out which of the two is ultimately responsible is far more difficult.
It can be very difficult to trace a possible breakdown in communication between the doctor and the pharmacist. This transfer of information is often where the most mistakes slip through the cracks, and can be the hardest to detect. Whether your doctor dictated an improper drug or dosage or the pharmacists misheard or misread something, finding fault can be a difficult task.
Prescription errors are very serious offenses that can permanently injure or even kill victims. If you have been the victim of pharmacy malpractice, you deserve compensation. To learn more about making pharmacies pay for their mistakes, download our exclusive free book, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Your Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.