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Hospital medication errors

Illinois emergency room patients might be less susceptible to medication errors when a pharmacy professional gets a drug history from them. A study by Cedars-Sinai found that there was more than an 80 percent drop in mistakes compared to when nurses or doctors took the history. The study examined more than 300 patients who were taking at least 10 drugs and had a history of at least one serious condition.

Medication errors are common and can be fatal. They include the wrong dose, the wrong frequency or the wrong drug, and electronic health records do not appear to be the right solution. Errors introduced there can be carried over permanently. One advantage of using pharmacy professionals is that taking the patient's medical history is their only job while nurses and doctors must take medical histories and treat the patient. For high-risk patients, Cedars-Sinai uses pharmacy professionals.

These professionals might draw on a number of different resources to put together a history. This could involve reconciling the patient's list of medications, information in prescription databases, information from the primary care physician and pharmacist, and information verbally given by the patient and others with the electronic health records. If the patient is unconscious, the situation might be more challenging.

A person who has been harmed as a result of a medication error may want to talk to an attorney. These types of errors could lead to a patient having an allergic reaction to the drug administered. The wrong medication could significantly affect a patient's treatment. If it can be demonstrated the the error occurred as a result of medical malpractice, the filing of a lawsuit against the health care facility or professional might be appropriate.

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