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Types of Errors

Dangerous and Defective Drugs If you put your trust in a pharmaceutical company and were hurt by their product, you deserve compensation for your suffering.
Wrong Medication Did you receive the wrong medication or incorrect prescription from a pharmacy? If you have suffered because of a medication error please call us for a free case review.
Wrong Dosage Common forms of medication error: incorrect dosage error. Order our free book to learn how to protect yourself and your family from wrong dosage errors.
Other Errors Order our free book, "How to Make Pharmacies Pay for your Injuries Caused by Medication Errors, to learn your rights in prescription error cases.
Kids Rx Errors Order a free copy of The Top 10 Tips to Protect Your Children Against Pharmacy Errors. If you have suffered a prescription error contact our firm today.
Pharmacy Malpractice If you have suffered an injury because a pharmacy dispensed the wrong medication or made an error with your prescription, you are able to file a claim for negligence or malpractice and receive the compensation you deserve.
Walgreens Pharmacy Error Claims There have been numerous claims brought against Walgreens for pharmacy errors or prescription errors. Order our free book to learn how to take action.
CVS Pharmacy Error Claims If you've been injured because of a CVS Pharmacy prescription error, call us for help with your lawsuit at 888-526-7616.
State Pharmacy Boards If you have been severely injured because of a medication error, contact board-certified attorneys immediately to investigate your case free of charge.
Drug & Pharmacy Error Prevention Filing a pharmacy error lawsuit is the only way to make pharmacies take accountability for mistakes. Call our board certified attorneys for a free case review.
State Pharmacy Laws State laws on pharmacy malpractice. Learn the pharmacy error Statute of Limitation laws that apply to your state. Call 877-342-2020 for a free consultation.

Why Are Hospital Patients Getting the Wrong Medications?

David W. Hodges
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Partner at Kennedy Hodges LLP practicing pharmacy error, medical malpractice and personal injury law

As pharmacy error attorneys, we often discuss why pharmacy patients at community and chain pharmacies receive the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of drugs. However, this article will shed light on the many reasons hospital patients are finding themselves victims of medication mix-ups.

What are the causes of many hospital patients getting the wrong medications?

According to a new study from the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, many medications are going to the wrong hospital patients. While many reasons exist as to why medication mistakes occur, prescription errors can be made by anyone at any time at a hospital. Four main factors that contribute to these errors are:

  1. Errors during administration. About 43 percent of medication errors occur during the administration stage and include selecting the wrong medication from an automated dispensing cabinet, mixing up patients who are sharing a room, and ignoring protocol for identifying patients.
  2. Errors during transcribing. About 38 percent of medication errors occurred during transferring a paper prescription over to an electronic or paper medication administration record. These types of mistakes were typically the result of transferring information from the wrong patient chart.
  3. Errors during prescribing. About 12 percent of these types of errors occur because physicians order drugs for patients on wrong patient charts, causing other patients to receive the wrong medication by mistake.
  4. Errors during dispensing. Surprisingly, prescription dispensing errors in hospitals only accounted for about five percent of medication errors. These types of errors generally happened when medication was put in the wrong patient’s bin or the incorrect patient’s label was put on someone else’s medication.

These findings were a result of over 800 wrong-patient medication errors that were reported to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority over a six-month period. As a result of these reports, it was determined that most medication errors occur during the administration and transcribing stages; however, wrong medication continues to occur during every stage and across all departments.

Because just one medication mix up can cause serious injuries for a patient, or turn deadly, it is important to change processes in an effort to reduce the risk of patients receiving the wrong medication. The study identified a few areas that could improve patient safety and minimize errors, including:

  • Improved patient engagement
  • Computerized prescriber order entry
  • Scannable bracelets for more accurate ID checks
  • Better procedures for patient verification
  • More in-depth training on healthcare technology

By implementing these risk-reduction strategies and speaking to patients about the importance of making sure hospital nurses, doctors, or other staff members check their identifications before receiving medication, patient harm can be reduced.

If you have been harmed in a hospital or pharmacy after receiving incorrect medication, you may have a wrong medication claim against the party responsible. Please call the experienced pharmacy error lawyers at Kennedy Hodges at 888-526-7616 for a free consultation. Also, request a free copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.