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Medication errors and how doctors can avoid them

Mar 16, 2018 | Nursing Negligence

Patients in New York who expect dependability from their health care practitioners. However, a 2016 study from Johns Hopkins University suggests that more than 250,000 Americans die every year because of medical errors. Despite the availability of digital record-keeping technology in clinics, there are still many ways for simple mistakes to hamper medical care.

Health care professionals all too often fail to record pertinent information about the patient. For example, they could forget to note any allergies or chronic health conditions that patients have. They may also neglect to record when and how much of a drug was administered.

Nursing actions must be kept track of. To this end, nurses are encouraged to supplement patients’ charts with a flow sheet that staff members on the next shift can review. When a doctor orders that a drug be discontinued, this should also be mentioned for the nurses’ benefit.

Nurses often transcribe the wrong information. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to record information on the wrong chart when serving two patients who share the same room, condition, doctor or name.

Even something as minor as an illegible record can lead to life-threatening mistakes. Errors can build up for a victim, and tracing them all may require the assistance of a malpractice attorney. Such lawyers often have access to a team of investigators who can find proof of a doctor’s negligence. If necessary, legal counsel can request an inquiry with the medical board as well. The victim can have the lawyer negotiate for a settlement and litigate if negotiations fail.