Hospitals seek for ways to reduce medical errors

Thousands of Pennsylvania residents take prescription medication every day. Sometimes the medications are given on a routine basis while other times they are for a short duration to address a specific one-time problem. No matter the situation, the need to ensure safety for patients and avoid medication errors is great as these problems can lead to serious injury or even death.

Around the nation, the focus on reducing the instances of medication errors, whether due to a dosage mistake, a dangerous combination of prescriptions or other problem is high. The Affordable Care Act has allowed hospitals to be penalized if patients are readmitted too soon, which can happen in the wake of a medication error. Hospital administrations everywhere are seeking ways to avoid these situations.

One hospital in Sioux City, Mercy Medical Center, was featured in a recent news story for its approach to the problem. The hospital has hired a team of pharmacy technicians to interview all newly admitted patients regarding their current prescription before any medication plan for them is created in the hospital. Historically nurses obtained this data but shifting the responsibility to staff members trained solely in pharmaceuticals is one way that this hospital hopes to lower its instance of administering an incorrect dose or other similar error.

There is much at stake when a medical error occurs. Anyone who has been or believes that they have been the victim of such a problem can opt to consult with an attorney. Having a discussion with a legal professional may help make it clear as to whether or not a true error has occurred.

Source:, “Pharmacy techs help prevent medication errors,” Dolly Butz, January 9, 2014