Patients in hospitals need to be attentive to medications they are receiving. A recent report entitled “Preventing Medical Errors” which was published by the Institute of Medicine indicates that hospital medication errors harm many patients.
Medication Errors in Hospitals Statistics
According to the report, approximately 1.5 million people each year are injured as a result of medication errors. In addition, several thousand patients each year die from these errors.
Despite previous studies which have documented these problems, little has been done to remedy the situation. Switching to computer-based entry of drug prescription information or even simply requiring physicians to legibly print prescriptions would likely significantly reduce the medication error rate.
Anyone who has looked at a prescription written by his/her physician can understand the difficulty that pharmacists can have in actually filling these prescriptions.
In addition, a computer-based system which determines appropriate dosages and which drugs should not be given in combination with other drugs would likely significantly reduce the potential for injury.
We encourage you to ask your legislator to support legislation designed to correct these problems and protect the health of hospital patients. Sick people should not have to personally monitor the appropriateness of the medications they receive.
Our attorneys have investigated and litigated numerous cases of hospital medication errors over the last 15 years.