Every year, thousands of patients die in U.S. hospitals as a result of medical errors. Most of these errors are completely avoidable. Medication errors are one such example of a medical mistake that’s preventable. We should be doing everything we can to avoid medication errors when we are prescribed medications and when we get new prescriptions from doctors. By helping doctors and pharmacists avoid errors, we can keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.
Here are 4 tips for avoiding medication errors:
When getting a new medication, ask your doctor about its implications and possible side effects. Talk about why it’s being prescribed and discuss alternative options if there are any. When picking up the prescription, ask your pharmacist about the dosage requirements and ask any additional questions you may have. When we’re informed about the medications we take, we can protect ourselves if mistakes occur.
Inform Your Healthcare Team
Always know what medications you take and/or have a list with you with the medication names and dosage amounts. This includes over-the-counter drugs you regularly take as well as any herbal and vitamin supplements. This lets you tell doctors and medical professionals how to treat you and how to avoid giving you additional medication which may have a negative effect.
When you pick up a new prescription at the doctor’s office, double check the prescription name, amount, and dosage requirements. Pharmacists do make mistakes occasionally. It’s also a good idea to verify the information on any handwritten prescriptions before turning them in. If you’re having a hard time reading your doctor’s handwriting, there’s a good chance the pharmacist will be stumped as well.
Appoint a Healthcare Advocate
If you ever need emergency medical care or must be admitted to a hospital, it can be tremendously helpful to have a family member or loved one on your side who can speak for you if you are unable to speak for yourself. Appoint a loved one to speak on your behalf and ensure that the appointed advocate understands your healthcare situation as well as any medications you are on.
With these tips, you can gain more control over your healthcare options and overall health. Information is power. When we’re well-informed about the medications we’re putting into our systems and how they may interact with other treatment options and/or medications, we can stop mistakes from happening before any damage is done. You can also protect your loved ones by putting these tips into action for your whole family.
If, unfortunately, you feel you may have already been a victim of a serious medical error involving medication, you do have legal options. If the incident occurred in the state of Georgia, contact Bey & Associates today to be paired with an Atlanta, GA medical malpractice lawyer who can tell you your options and help you decide if filing a lawsuit may be in your best interest. With our help, your family can recover from a mistake that should not have occurred.