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Mobile devices may help prevent medication errors

Hospitals and nursing homes provide a lot of services, all of which must be performed appropriately in order to keep patients safe. While issues revolving around misdiagnoses and surgical errors are often discussed, medication errors are also common and can be just as devastating for a victim. When an individual is given the wrong medication or a wrong dose of a needed medication serious harm or death can occur. Fortunately some doctors are taking additional steps to ensure these accidents are prevented.

According to a study published in JAMDA, about 560 of 800 doctors surveyed stated they use a mobile device as part of medication prescription in nursing homes. Of those 560 doctors, 88 percent said they think use of drug reference software helped prevent at least one adverse event in the prior month. Of those using mobile devices in nursing homes, 98 percent said they look up medications at least once per day.

While the use of drug reference software is beneficial and apparently successful in preventing medication errors, the sad fact remains that many doctors do not use such devices. The study found younger doctors were 67 percent more likely to use a mobile device than doctors with more than 15 years of experience. This lack of technology-based cross-referencing could spell trouble for patients.

When one is injured by a medication error he should become aware of his legal rights. A medical malpractice lawyer can discuss these rights with a victim and address whether a lawsuit should be filed. If the victim decides to move forward on a claim, then the attorney will do everything in his or her power to prove a medical professional's negligence caused the victim's injuries. Negligence may be proven if the doctor failed to cross-check how multiple drugs react to each other, prescribed or administered a wrong dosage, or prescribed the wrong medication.

Monetary awards may be recovered from a medical malpractice lawsuit if a doctor's negligence can be shown to have caused the victim's injuries. If these awards are recovered, then the victim may be able to get out from under undeserved medical debt, recover lost wages, and be compensated for his pain and suffering. Then, the victim can get his life back on track knowing the negligent doctor who harmed him and the hospital where the doctor worked were punished appropriately.

Source: McKnight's Long-Term Care News, "Mobile devices help reduce medication errors in nursing homes, doctors say," Tim Mullaney, Oct. 10, 2013

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