Healthcare professionals are an essential part of any society. They are the people who sacrifice their time and spend most of their careers helping thousands of people every year.
However, they are still people who can make mistakes. Those mistakes lead to significant problems for hospitals and patients as they try to recover after a disease, surgery or other aliments. That’s why it’s so important for patients to know what to look out for when it comes to medication errors.
Common errors with prescriptions
Most prescription drug mistakes are preventable due to the particular nature that surrounds prescribing, filling and dispensing medication. However, some mistakes slip through the cracks. And these mistakes tend to happen more often:
- Healthcare professionals prescribe medications with dangerous side effects when used in combination with your other prescriptions.
- The doctor prescribes the wrong drug for your ailment.
- The medical staff prescribes too high or low of a dose.
- The staff puts the wrong drug or the wrong dose in your intravenous drip.
All these mistakes are completely preventable if hospital staff members take additional time to communicate with their patients and other employees. According to the Mayo Clinic, the largest cause of medication errors is due to poor communication between doctors, patients and other medical staff.
Preventing errors as a patient
Patients hold a significant amount of power in the hospital room, and with that responsibility, they need to hold themselves and doctors accountable. For example, patients should try to ask doctors for further explanations if they aren’t familiar with a specific prescription. They can ask questions surrounding dosage, side effects and any foods to avoid on the medication.
It helps the patients know when there is a mistake or issue further down the line. Also, it gives you an opportunity to ask your healthcare professional about your treatment – and possibly learn of alternatives.
However, it’s critical to note that if you are having issues with a specific medication, you need to speak with a doctor or another medical professional as a second opinion. They may be able to shine more light on your situation and offer better treatment for you.