Medication errors are serious matters because they can have a negative impact on patients who are already having medical issues. Medical facilities should ensure that they have proper protocol in place so that people who distribute the medications provide patients with the proper drugs in the correct dosages at the ordered times.
It isn't good enough for facilities to simply tell employees that they can't make errors. Instead, specific information should be provided to employees about how errors can occur, what some of the most common errors are and how these errors can be prevented. The more information employees have, the more of an effort they can make to stop errors before they occur.
Creating a clear order of steps for how medications are dispensed and administered is one of the protocols recommended for these cases. The checks must start with the person who is filling the prescription or preparing the medications to get to the person who will administer them. Checks should continue up until the patient is given the medications and the dosage is entered into the records.
Medical facilities should make sure that they involve the patients and their family members in the drug administration process. This gives the process a set of eyes that isn't looking at various medications for multiple patients in a single shift. It also puts someone into the process that has a personal interest in ensuring that everything is being given properly.
If you are one of the patients who has been adversely affected by a medication error, you can opt to seek compensation for the damages that you suffered.
Source: National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention, "Reducing Medication Errors Associated with At-risk Behaviors by Healthcare Professionals," accessed Feb. 01, 2017