It depends. In cases where only one person was directly responsible for a medication error, many hospitals or pharmacies will respond by firing the employee. This is meant to appease the injured person’s family by suggesting that the problem has been dealt with, and that it will not happen again.
But this may not be the best way of correcting the problem, for a number of reasons:
- Errors are human. The human brain is fallible, and is liable to make mistakes. Realizing that mistakes are not made consciously and happen frequently allows staff to be aware of them.
- The person is not the problem. Except for very few cases, one person does not operate alone in a patient’s medication process. If one person is fired without evaluating why the mistake happened, it is likely that the mistake will happen again.
- Blame incites fear. If staff members believe that they will be disciplined or fired because of an error, their response is likely to be a shifting of blame to save their own jobs rather than an honest evaluation of the problem.
The best way to identify liability is to examine where the system failed. Many staff members are involved in medication administration, from the doctor who writes the prescription to the person who administers it. Finding out where the problem happened and why it was not caught can prevent the same mistake from happening in the future.
Of course, both caregivers and institutions may still be held liable for the suffering your medication error caused. Hospitals, nurses, doctors and pharmacists may all be held financially accountable for causing your prescription drug mistake in Louisville, and a successful case will make it more likely that an institution will change its safety procedures in the future.
Call the attorneys at Gray and White today at (800) 634-8767 to start your FREE legal consultation.