In spite of various measures put in place by federal and Oklahoma authorities, medication errors are still fairly common. While the consequences of a medication error may not be major and are often manageable in many cases, some odd incidents of error can prove very costly for the patient's health and wellbeing. Therefore, a patient must take some precautions to prevent such errors in addition to measures required by doctors, nurses or pharmacists.
Probably, the most common form of error is administering a wrong drug or making a dosage mistake. Such errors can happen in the hospital due to the negligence of healthcare professionals or when a pharmacy makes an error at the time of purchase medicines for home use. In order to prevent such errors, it is important that a patient and family members develop an understanding of which medicines are used for what purposes and when and how these drugs should be administered.
For example, informing a doctor about use of all medications and dietary supplements is an important disclosure by the patient. In fact, providing a list of all those medicines and supplements for the doctor during a visit is critical to future treatment and to keep in mind the medication's effects to reduce chances of medication errors or bad interactions. It is also important that a patient informs the doctor about allergies so that a doctor can avoid prescribing medicines that can worsen it.
Sometimes, patients have difficulty reading and understanding a doctor's prescription, which means that a pharmacist may also have difficulty. Thus, it is important for a patient clearly understand what is written on the prescription to help to prevent possible errors. If required, the patient should also clarify all the names of medicines and dosages so that the possibility of administering a wrong drug or wrong dosage can be eliminated.
Source: AHRQ.gov, "20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors," accessed on Feb. 2, 2015