We’ve all watched so many mysteries on television that we’re trained to look for the “bad guy” in an unfortunate situation. However, if you’re trying to figure out who’s to blame for your prescription drug mistake, it’s not going to be as black and white as the movies would have you believe.
In many drug administration error cases, it is typically the last person in the chain of caregivers who gets the blame for the mistake. The common thinking is, the last person should have caught the mistake, even if it actually happened somewhere else along the line.
There are a few reasons this way of thinking is unhelpful. First, the human brain will always make errors, and very few happen consciously. Second, blaming a person for an error does nothing to address the main problem, making it more likely the mistake will happen again.
There are two ways to hold a caregiver responsible for a serious medication mistake:
- “Hot potato” blame. When several people are involved in a chain that caused an error, they react as if threatened. They know that their employers will likely consider disciplinary action, suspension, or termination, and they will avoid or shift blame to protect their livelihood. As a result, the focus is on personal consequences rather than the problem.
- A problem with the system. In a systems-based approach, errors are seen as the end of a long chain of events. Since the system is blamed for succeeding or failing, the people involved do not have to be replaced—they can be retrained into a better system. The focus is placed on fixing the error, and new safeguards can be put in place to prevent the mistake from happening again, benefiting both caregivers and patients.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you cannot hold a caregiver or institution responsible for your harmful medication error. While identifying the root cause will help to keep the mistake from happening to someone else, hospitals can still be help financially accountable for causing your suffering—in fact, a successful drug injury case will make it more likely that an institution will change its methods.
To begin your FREE case evaluation, call Kennedy Hodges today at (888) 526-7616 or fill out our online contact form. For more information on your case, click the link above and we’ll rush you a FREE copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Your Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.