While the health care industry in New York has taken great strides toward eliminating prescription medication errors, there are still instances that lead to higher levels of mistakes. This is dangerous given that medication errors can lead to adverse and sometimes even fatal reactions between different medications.
The risk of a patient receiving a dangerous combination of prescriptions is highest during a time of transition. A 2017 survey of 153 physicians concluded that the possibility of medication errors is much higher at a time when a patient is being transferred from one nurse to another. The systems in place to prevent medication error are not always effective given the hectic nature of nurse shift changes and can lead to a higher level of human error and miscommunication.
Many health care providers hope that technological advances and integration will be able to help eliminate errors. The proliferation of Electronic Health Records, or EHR, has already led to a decrease in medication errors. The hope from many experts is that more functions will integrate together, allowing the EHR to function as a singular ‘source of truth" regarding a patient’s treatment. A reduction in these types of errors doesn’t just dramatically improve the lives of the patients, however; integrating EHR with medication management technologies can cut an estimated $2 million in costs that health care providers face annually.
Individuals who are transitioning between care providers are still being injured through medication errors far too often. In some of these cases, the individual may have suffered a serious injury with recoverable damages including additional medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. An attorney with experience in medical malpractice law may be able to recover those damages from the responsible health care provider through either a negotiated settlement or by filing a lawsuit and proceeding toward a legal solution in court.