How can medication errors happen?

On Behalf of | Oct 21, 2023 | Personal Injury

When you need help with your health and visit a doctor, medication errors stand out as unfortunate yet frequent events. Despite the rules and advanced technologies in place, these errors can have serious consequences.

Understanding the factors contributing to medication errors is important before you suffer more from health complications.

Human factors

At the heart of medication errors are often human factors. In the demanding environment of healthcare, stress can impair cognitive functions. This leads to medical professionals having problems with attention and judgment.

Healthcare workers may find themselves making errors in prescribing, dispensing or administering medications. If professionals cannot deal with the fast-paced nature of the job, the human element can cause a spike in mistakes or errors.

Communication breakdowns

Experts estimate that 27% of medical malpractice issues happen due to bad communication. Effective communication is important for patient care, yet breakdowns in communication remain a major problem that leads to medication errors. In a collaborative healthcare setting, clear information exchange between workers is important.

Misunderstandings or lack of details in prescription orders can create a breeding ground for errors. Bridging these communication gaps requires a concerted effort on the workers’ part.

Technology and systems issues

While technology has changed healthcare, it is not without its flaws. Electronic health records and computerized physician order entry systems can introduce new challenges. Glitches, interface design issues or poor training on these systems may contribute to medication errors.

Medical professionals should foster a culture of safety in the ongoing effort to unravel the threads of medical errors. Learning about how medical malpractice commonly happens is an important step you may want to take after an injury.