A study completed in Missouri indicates that while RNs and LPNs are both often tasked with medication reconciliation, RNs appear to be better at handling this job. Medication reconciliation is when a medical professional goes over patient data about what medications have been prescribed. The goal is to find any errors that may lead to an adverse event for a patient.
Medication reconciliation is essential because previous research shows that 37 percent of adverse events in nursing facilities were related to medication use. Of those events, which included falls and bleeding, 66 percent were considered avoidable.
According to those involved in the study, it appears that medical facilities may need to be sure that they treat RNs and LPNs differently instead of using them for the same types of jobs. Generally speaking, RNs tend to be oriented towards patient safety while LPNs are more focused on tasks, and this difference affects how both groups handle certain jobs. This is likely why RNs were determined to be better at identifying medication issues than their LPN colleagues.
There are a number of different types of medication errors that can occur. Some of them include failing to prescribe someone with the correct drug, giving someone the correct drug but the wrong dosage or prescribing someone a drug to which they are allergic. All of these mistakes can cause a number of medical issues, and the results can sometimes lead to death. If an error was preventable, someone may have legal recourse against the doctor or medical facility, and a lawyer could help someone determine if the mistake could have been prevented.