Little Rock, AR (Law Firm Newswire) May 29, 2012 - Hospital errors are far more common than Americans suspect. Many involve drug mistakes.
“Drug errors are quite common and quite deadly,” says Michael Smith, an Arkansas injury lawyer and Arkansas accident lawyer, practicing personal injury law in Arkansas.
“With understaffed hospitals, an overburdened health care system and a shortage of medical professionals, it is no wonder there are medication errors. Whether it is lousy writing, a miscalculated dose, an overdose, the right dose for the wrong person, a combination of drugs that adversely affects a patient, or sheer negligence, medication mistakes is one of the leading causes of serious injuries and death across the U.S,” he added.
Perhaps there is now a solution to this issue on the horizon, computer technology in the form of the computerized physician order entry system. This assists medical practitioners to enter test results or medication orders directly to a computer program, rather than scrawling something, largely illegible, on a piece of paper. These orders are easy to read, clear and are presented with additional aids, such as automatic alerts regarding drug interactions or allergies, reminders and best practice tips.
“The key to a safer health system is reducing medical errors, and if this system is able to do that, it can only be a direct boon for patients and medical professionals. In other words, it could also help reduce the number of medical malpractice cases based on hospital errors,” Smith observed.
This system was first pioneered by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2004. Over the years, it grew into a working model that set the bar for nationally accepted safety practices. In use since 2004, it has clearly shown it has the ability to drastically cut down medication errors in hospitals.
“Granted, most hospitals need to get this system from software vendors, as they don’t have the expertise to develop it on their own. However, how they get a system like the one in operation at Brigham’s isn’t the issue. The issue is getting something in place that makes a significant difference in keeping patients safe,” Smith insisted.
No one goes to hospital expecting to have a severe drug reaction and/or die due to a medication error. They think they will get their medical problem fixed, and go home to recover. It is about time the health system protected patients, by ensuring technology makes their medications crystal clear and legible. It is what patients expect, and deserve.
“Have you been the victim of a medication error or hospital error? If so, call me. I can advise you what your rights are and what to expect if you wish to file a lawsuit to recover damages for any injuries you may have sustained,” advised Smith.
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