New York patients have the possibility of being harmed during the transition from a hospital to home care. The discharge process can be a chaotic time when health care providers are more likely to make mistakes. When a formerly hospitalized patient begins receiving treatment at home, the patient’s home health nurses, pharmacists and other health care providers could fail to correct mistakes that were made during the hospital discharge.
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement says that medical errors are a common occurrence during the period following hospitalization. A patient may receive treatment from a variety of different health care providers that do not communicate effectively with each other to prevent errors.
A common type of medical error that occurs during transitional care involves medication mistakes. If a patient is sent home from the hospital with numerous drug prescriptions, home health nurses might fail to identify a potentially harmful drug combination. Another mistake that can be made during transitional care is when a drug prescription is misheard or misread by a health care provider, pharmacist or pharmacy technician. These kinds of errors can result in a patient being given the wrong drug with a similar name or the correct drug in the wrong dosage.
A patient who has been harmed by a medication mistake after a transition from the hospital may want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney to see if there is cause to file a lawsuit against the responsible party or parties The attorney will attempt to determine, through a review of the patient’s electronic health records and other evidence, whether there was a breach of the duty of care.