It has been believed by many individuals in the medical community that medication errors could be reduced in hospitals by employing new technology. However, while this appears to be true, it seems that errors that occur when intravenous medications are administered may also be tied to hospital workers’ failure to follow hospital protocol.
A recent study, published in BMJ Quality & Safety, found that IV medication errors were likely to occur when workers did not follow policy. While mistakes are still being made – researchers found that more than half of IV medication infusions involved errors – smart pump technology has led to a reduction. Compared to previous rates of mistakes from earlier studies, error rates were much lower.
The goal of smart pumps is to reduce medication errors with dose error reduction systems and drug libraries. They have been generally successful, but errors are still cropping up when hospital staff members fail to label and change the tubing of IVs. Smart pumps do not have anything to do with these processes, so this technology is not able to have an effect on these types of errors.
When someone receives the wrong medication or even the wrong dose of the right medication, it can have negative consequences for a patient. When people are not getting the treatment they need, their condition may get worse, and they may develop new complications. Too much or too little of a medication can keep the treatment from working and it can make potential side effects worse or more likely to happen. If someone has suffered due to a medication error, it is possible that a lawyer could help them to determine if there was medical malpractice involved and let them know their rights and options.