If you were recently admitted to a hospital ward, you may have noticed the nurses asking a lot of questions before administering your medication. It may seem silly, but this simple step can help reduce the number of medication errors—a problem that is still rampant in many Kentucky hospitals.
A recent study examined 813 reported wrong-patient medication errors from over 250 hospitals. In just six months, researchers discovered errors at every step of the medication process, from ordering to filling the prescriptions, to administering the correct dosage.
The biggest problems that led to wrong-patient medication mistakes included:
- Administration errors. The most common reported errors involved health care associates obtaining the wrong medicines from drug storage areas, such as locked cabinets and automated dispensaries.
- Same drug, wrong dose. In many cases, two patients who were prescribed the same medication received the dose intended for the other, causing patients to suffer unintended side effects.
- Identity issues. Failure to verify patient identity caused a number of errors, including using improper patient identifiers (such as a patient’s room number) or checking only one form of ID before giving medication.
- Transcription problems. The largest technological issue involved a verbal order or paper medication being improperly transcribed onto a patient’s record.
- Pharmacy errors. Roughly five percent of errors occur during dispensing, most often when the wrong patient label was applied to a pill bottle, box, or syringe.
While any one of these errors may cause serious injury, most medication mistakes are a result of multiple failures in a hospital system. If you suffered a medication mistake at Jewish hospital in KY, chances are good that it will happen to someone else in the future—unless you make sure the people responsible are held accountable for their negligence.
The experienced Louisville medical malpractice attorneys at Gray and White can get you justice and payment for your suffering—and we charge nothing unless we win your case. Call us today at (800) 634-8767, or fill out the contact form on the top of this page to set up your FREE, one-on-one case evaluation.