Nurses in New York City hospitals have difficult and important jobs, and they are rarely able to complete their shifts without being frequently distracted or interrupted. The errors that such interruptions lead to can be serious, and nurses are expected to focus intently on what they are doing to avoid distractions when performing important tasks such as sorting or administering medications.
Doctors in New York and around the country often have extremely poor handwriting, but pharmacists generally do a good job of deciphering what they have written and most prescriptions are filled correctly. However, when prescriptions are not filled properly, the consequences can be fatal.
New Yorkers who have recently spent time hospitalized may be dismayed to learn that studies have found 200,000 to 400,000 deaths happen annually as a result of preventable errors in hospitals around the country. In addition to the emotional costs to loved ones, medical mistakes are estimated to cost upwards of $15 billion annually in expenses such as patient care and prescription drug services.
When New York residents pick up their prescription medication from their local pharmacy, they expect to be given the correct prescription and the correct amount. However, some individuals find that when pharmacies make mistakes, staff members and management often fail to respond to individuals' concerns.
New York parents of infants should be interested to learn that a study found that many calls to poison centers regarding infants involved medication errors. The study analyzed more than 270,000 calls to the National Poison Data System over a period of 10 years.