Medical mistakes happen all the time in the hospital, and quite a few of them involve prescription medications. Both the pills that staff members hand out throughout the day and the medications administered intravenously in liquid form can do more harm than good if the medical professionals administering the drugs make mistakes.
As a patient or someone helping a patient, you are in a position to protect yourself or someone you love from medical mistakes that could have serious repercussions. Your mobile phone can be a powerful tool to protect against medication errors that could have disastrous consequences.
There are websites that help you identify individual pills
If you constantly take the same medication, you know what the drug should look like. The same is true if you help a loved one stay on a schedule with their prescriptions. Sometimes, the hospital changes the dose or the manufacturer of the medication that someone takes, which means the pill will look different.
Before you take a pill that does not look the way you remember it looking or before you take a new prescription for the first time, you can use a pill lookup website to verify that the medication is one that you should take. This will help you avoid mix-ups where medical staff gives the wrong medication for the wrong patient or the wrong dose.
Setting timers and alarms on your phone can help you avoid timing mistakes
Whether you need a new bag attached to your IV every eight hours or to swallow pain relief medication every six hours, mistakes in timing can cause issues.
Dosing intervals that go too long can decrease how effective the medication is and the level accumulated in your bloodstream. Timing with dosages too close to one another can result in an overdose or in an interaction with another medication despite dosage timing that doctors have carefully staggered to avoid a direct overlap between the two drugs.
Setting reminders, alarms or timers on your phone for each of your individual medications can ensure that you don’t receive them too early or too late.
Sadly, even if you do everything in your power to be safe, the risk still exists for medication errors to affect your care in the hospital. Those hurt by medication errors or with loved ones harmed by medication mistakes may need to consider a medical malpractice claim against the facility where the mistake occurred.