No one communicates the same, which is why communication is a problem in many relationships — even relationships between doctors and pharmacists, pharmacy techs and pharmacists, and patients and pharmacists. When a break down of communication occurs between medical professionals and pharmacists, patients can suffer the consequences.
While there are many factors that can lead to patients receiving the wrong dosage of medication, poor communication may be among the top causes of medication mistakes. Good communication is vital in the prescription process. First, a doctor needs to clearly communicate what medication and dosage is to be administered, then the pharmacist needs to be sure to dispense the correct medicate, and finally communicate with the patient about the medication.
If one step in the communication process is off, such as a pharmacy technician interprets a doctor’s abbreviation for a different medication or a pharmacist fills 500 milligrams instead of 50 milligrams, the result of poor communication can be severe. Many studies have indicated that communication failure between doctors and pharmacies, and even throughout the healthcare field, have caused medication errors and patient injuries and deaths.
Because communication errors occur, it is recommended that patients take the following steps to avoid being victims of pharmacy errors, including:
- Know what medication the doctor prescribed to you, including the dose and name of the drug, before you leave your medical appointment.
- Take your prescription out of the bag at the pharmacy to confirm the name of the drug and dosage of medication.
- Check that the name on the bag and pill bottle label is yours.
- Take advantage of the consultation to review your medication with the pharmacist, as a pharmacist may catch if the wrong dosage was dispensed. If pills were dispensed, open the bottle, take out a pill, and ask the pharmacist to confirm that you have the correct medicine.
It is critical the all parties involved in the prescription process seek clear communication to avoid pharmacy errors.
If you suffered from the wrong dosage of medication, you may have rights to a Texas pharmacy malpractice claim. Call our skilled Houston pharmacy error attorneys at Kennedy Hodges, L.L.P., (888-526-7616) to schedule a free consultation today and find out about your legal rights. You may also wish to fill out an online website form to receive a FREE copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Your Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.