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Medication errors in the hospital

People who live in Arizona and must seek medical care or treatment at a hospital should be able to feel that they will receive good and safe care while there. Unfortunately, a hospital can actually be the very place where a person is injured when a medical error happens. Mistakes involving medications are one type of error that patients should be aware of.

As explained by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a medical mistake involving a drug and harm to a patient is called an adverse drug event. It is estimated that five percent of people in hospitals actually experience these events. Furthermore, an estimated one out of every two adverse drug events is said to be preventable. 

An error involving a drug may occur at various stages from the initial prescribing of the medication to the administration of it. When prescribing a medication, a physician may select the wrong drug or dose. They may also provide inaccurate or incomplete instructions. A pharmacist may not properly fulfill a prescription. A nurse or other attendant who is tasked with giving medications to patients may give the wrong drug or the wrong dose. They may also not follow the instructions for the frequency of giving the drug.

According to WebMD, patients going into the hospital might want to consider having a family member or other trusted helper review their medications and interface with medical staff on their behalf to ensure they are given the right drugs and the right times.


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