Medication Errors By Florida Health Care Providers
Medications are powerful substances for treatment and preventative medicine, and many positive patient outcomes would not be possible without them. However, Florida health care providers are capable of mistakes, including with the administration of medications. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic provide useful definitions on the topic, explaining that medication errors are preventable events that occur because of inappropriate use of prescription and/or over-the-counter drugs. When they cause harm to the patient, medical professionals refer to them as adverse drug events. If there was a mistake that did not affect the patient, the medication error is a potential adverse drug event.
There are many types of mistakes a health care provider could make, but these errors generally fall into position along the timeline of medication administration. Many issues are linked to physicians, but nurses and pharmacists may slip-up. You could suffer serious injuries, so bear in mind that you may qualify for legal remedies under medical malpractice laws. A Tampa medical malpractice lawyer can describe your options, and you can read on for an overview of where these mistakes occur.
Mistakes and the Process of Medication Administration
There are multiple stages involved with providing medication to a patient, and the details will vary based upon the setting. Medication administration may be different for hospitalized patients, residents in nursing homes, and individuals seeing a doctor in a clinical environment. Errors may occur at any of the basic stages, including:
- Ordering and prescribing, where a health care provider makes decisions regarding the proper medication, dose, route, and frequency;
- Documentation, in which a mistake could be the result of not reviewing the patient’s medical history;
- Transcribing errors, often due to confusion surrounding drugs will similar spellings and pronunciations;
- Dispensing the medication, where the role of the pharmacist is important for communicating side effects, interactions, and other issues;
- Administering, i.e., the patient takes the drug or providers give it through routes that require assistance; and,
- Monitoring the patient after administration.
Researchers point out that most medication errors occur with ordering and prescribing, accounting for almost half of all adverse drug events. Nurses and pharmacists are responsible for 30 to 70 percent of these mistakes, an extremely wide margin.
How Medication Errors are Medical Malpractice
Under Florida’s statute on medical negligence, you must be able to prove that your provider deviated from the relevant standard of care when administering medication. You will need evidence regarding at which stage(s) the mistake occurred as described above, and keep in mind that the standard of care is specific for the type of practitioner. Nurses and pharmacists will be held to the same standard as similar professionals with the same training, while the assessment for physicians involves comparing them to a hypothetical doctor in the same field.
Speak to a Florida Medication Errors Attorney About Legal Remedies
To learn more about the requirements for recovering compensation, please contact the Tampa, FL offices of Greco & Wozniak P.A. You can call 813.223.7849 or visit our website to set up a no-cost case evaluation with an experienced med mal lawyer.