Annually, there are an estimated seven million patients who are victims of medication errors. Medication errors cost healthcare providers in New Mexico and throughout the country $21 billion per year. However, it is believed that up to 25% of those mistakes could be prevented. Pharmacists, doctors and others may be able to prevent a potentially harmful mistake from occurring by making note of errors that have happened in the past.
Doing so may make it easier to learn from those mistakes and make changes to prevent them from happening again in the future. Keeping track of errors may be a good idea even if they were caused by external factors. In some cases, a pharmacy or other facility may be vulnerable to making the same mistakes that these outside facilities made. Workplace safety training may help healthcare providers learn more about why errors occur and the steps that can be taken to prevent them.
Medical care providers are encouraged to work together in an effort to help patients obtain positive outcomes. Generally speaking, pharmacists are known for their willingness to speak up when they notice something that might harm a patient. Pharmacists are encouraged to continue to do so even if they receive resistance from others. Ultimately, reducing the number of medication errors will require all healthcare professionals to show a willingness to learn and work together.
Individuals who experience negative health consequences related to medication errors may be entitled to compensation. This may help to pay medical bills related to a mistake made by a doctor, nurse or pharmacist. An attorney may be able to use medical records and other evidence to show that there was enough information to avoid improperly treating a victim. Cases may be resolved at trial or through a negotiated settlement.