Going to the hospital is rarely a pleasant experience for people in Connecticut and around the United States; people usually only go to the emergency room when they are seriously and suddenly sick or injured. An additional concern that some people may have in the hospital is the possibility of a medication error. Powerful medications can have serious side effects, especially when incorrectly administered. In addition, patients may fail to receive the drugs they actually need if they are prescribed an incorrect medication.
Some drugs that are very widely prescribed to Connecticut patients are also some of those most frequently raised in medication-related liability claims. Two classes of drugs had higher levels of claims associated with them in particular: opioid painkillers and anticoagulants, used to prevent dangerous blood clots.
It is surprisingly easy for pharmacy mistakes to take place, but it is also easy to prevent these errors. Connecticut residents might like to know about why these errors occur and how they can be prevented.
Americans call poison control services once every 21 seconds because of medication errors. That was one of the findings of a study conducted by two groups at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio. Researchers looked at calls related to medication errors, some of which took place in Connecticut, over a period of 13 years that resulted in significant medical outcomes.
For Connecticut families who cannot provide the care their elderly loved ones need, putting them in a nursing home may be one of the few options available. Although nursing home facilities are supposed to be able to provide proper medical care to their residents, reports suggest that many are not properly administering anticoagulants or monitoring patients after giving them such a drug.
Technology usage in the medical industry has dramatically increased in the last decade. Most hospitals in Connecticut make use of computerized systems to manage patient treatment information. This includes medication dosage and instructions. While the technology is designed to reduce human error and increase patient safety, it has the potential to breed new types of errors and concerns for patients.
It appears that fear of punitive action may be causing anesthesia providers at some hospitals to underreport errors. A team of researchers used data from the Multicenter Perioperative Outcomes Group as well as institutional quality assurance data to determine that the rate of error reporting from anesthesia providers appears to be much lower than the rate in other studies.
Connecticut nursing home registered nurses have a variety of responsibilities. A 2015 University of Missouri study indicated that they are more competent at detecting medication errors at those facilities than are licensed practical nurses.
Connecticut nursing home residents sometimes have to go to the hospital. When they are discharged and return to the nursing home, it is common for medical mistakes to be made. A study shows that having a nurse practitioner visit with such patients within the first 48 hours that they are back in the nursing home may reduce medical errors.
Connecticut patients can be seriously injured by medication errors such as an incorrect dose, an incorrect drug use or a dangerous drug combination. To prevent medication errors from occurring during medication preparation, pharmacists use software called DoseEdge Pharmacy Workflow Manager. Since it was released in 2008, the Baxter software has processed 72 million medication doses and detected over 3 million potential errors.