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Pharmacy software has detected millions of drug errors

Medication errors are among the most common medical mistakes made in New Mexico and around the country each year. However, a software program is helping pharmacists identify millions of drug errors before they happen.

DoseEdge Pharmacy Workflow Managerintegrates with hardware used to prepare intravenous and oral liquid prescriptions, such as cameras, barcode scanners and gravimetric scales that weigh medication doses, to record critical information. It then automates the process of inspecting, tracking, routing and reporting the prescriptions. The software lets pharmacists conduct preproduction checks to identify potential medication preparation mistakes.

DoseEdge has processed over 72 million medication doses since it hit the market in 2008 and detected more than 3 million potential drug errors. Nearly 40 percent of the drug errors identified have been related to incorrect drug use. The system is not intended to replace the knowledge and expertise of pharmacists, but it could act as a complementary backstop to detect dangerous errors before they can harm a patient. It is estimated that around 1.2 million preventable adverse drug events involving injectable medications, including deadly compounding errors, occur each year in the U.S. These mistakes rack up between $2.7 and $5.1 billion in additional health care costs annually.

People who have been the victim of medication errors may have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Examples of medication errors include the wrong medication, a dosage mistake, a pharmacist's failure to read a doctor's handwriting properly, or a negligent doctor or pharmacist not checking for allergies. An attorney could review the details of the case and explain all legal options available.

Source: Pharmacy Times, "Software Alerts Pharmacists to 3 Million Potential Medication Errors," Krystle Vermes, Aug. 1, 2016

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