Although health IT systems are supposed to make the job of medical professionals easier while improving patient outcomes, a study indicates that these systems may be leading to an increase in medication errors in New York and around the country. The study, which was published by the ECRI Institute and the Pennsylvania Safety Advisory, found that unexpected problems with the new systems have developed, and issues appear to occur in a variety of ways.
Researchers determined that 889 medication errors reported to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority between Jan. 1 and June 30 of 2016 were attributed to IT errors. The majority of the medication errors stemmed from a dose having been omitted, dosage mistakes and too many dosages. Most of the problems appear to have come from computerized prescriber order entry systems and the electronic medication administration record system.
Along with issues related to order and records systems, it appears that problems were also more likely when patient transfers took place. Medical professionals could run into a variety of errors, including systems not working as intended or information not going from one medical system to another in the intended manner.
When medical professionals give someone the wrong drug or fail to check for allergies or interactions with other medications, the consequences for a patient can be severe. In addition to the fact that a person may not be getting the medication required to treat a condition, people may also be harmed by the wrong medication. If someone has been harmed by being given the wrong medication, a lawyer could help determine if the error constituted compensable medical malpractice.