Countless prescriptions are written every day, and there are many steps that must be followed for patients to receive the proper medications. From the moment production begins, to the time the patient takes a first dose, there are many opportunities for mistakes to happen.
Patients trust their doctors and expect to receive effective treatment and appropriate medications. Physicians are responsible for treating patients in ways that are in their best interests, but if the treatment leads to harm, the doctor could face charges of medical negligence for incorrectly prescribing medication.
Production and Delivery Errors
Just like any other product, if a prescription medication is created through a flawed manufacturing process, the result could be tragic. Many problems begin in the manufacturing stage and sometimes these issues are not detected. Delivery issues could also impact prescriptions, such as leaving a medication in a heated truck for too long. Pharmacies also make frequent prescription errors, such as mixing up patient records and misreading prescriptions.
Medication errors also happen in doctors’ offices and can result from a wide range of causes. When physicians or other medical professionals examine a patient, the information they record can have errors. These can be made by doctors, assistants, nurses, and by patients who do not give accurate information. Furthermore, if a patient tells the provider they are allergic to a certain medication or have another medical condition and it is not noted, the patient could end up with a severe reaction.
Some prescriptions are hard to decipher than others. Sometimes, the writing is illegible or missing important details, such as its intended duration or total volume. Others may have incorrect instructions for ingestion or dosage. According to the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology (BJCP), half of prescribing faults are from incorrect dose selection. Their report also mentions that many mistakes are made when patients enter hospitals and their current prescriptions are transitioned into the new settings.
Preventing Prescription Mistakes
BJCP points out that most prescription errors are caused by wrong medical decisions. There are systems in place to prevent these and promote patient safety, such as automated prescribing systems, hospital pharmacist training, prescription charts, and electronic drug dispensing systems.
Physicians should also carefully explain any prescriptions to their patients. Instead of sending it over to a pharmacy right away, doctors should go over the medication’s efficacy, dosage, and side effects. When picking up the prescription, patients should open the bag and make sure it is exactly what was prescribed.
Philadelphia Physician Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Advise Physicians on Prescription Error Lawsuits
If you are a physician facing prescription issues, reach out to the experienced Philadelphia physician lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. for a free case evaluation. Call us at 215-569-1999 or contact us online. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, northeast Philadelphia, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County.