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Is technology advanced enough to prevent medical errors?

Protecting the patient should be a top priority for hospitals, doctors and other health care professionals. Residents in Laurel, Maryland, may agree with this fact also. However, based on statistics, on average, one medication error occurs every day. Some of these mistakes are associated with prescription errors, wrong dosage or wrong medication. It is the responsibility of the hospital to prevent such errors.

A recent study determined that the best way to protect patients from medication error is with technology called Computerized Physician Order Entry. This system may help physicians to prescribe the correct medication with the correct dosage. In this system, a physician or a prescriber may enter the orders and the patient's health information such as clinical condition, allergies and laboratory results. A CPOE can analyze if the medication orders are accurate and appropriate based on the patient's condition. It may detect certain errors such as wrong dosage or wrong prescription.

However, not all hospitals use such technology due to its cost. Many hospitals may still rely on their vendors and pharmacists. Additionally, the patient's safety from medication errors may not be the concern of most vendors, resulting in harm and complications to the patients.

Considering that health care costs are extremely high nowadays, every patient deserves proper care and services from their doctors and hospitals, from the diagnosis to prescription of medicines. Unfortunately, medication errors do occur and have contributed to many unnecessary deaths.

A simple medical error can be disastrous for a patient. Whether it is because of medication error, birth injury or wrong-site surgery, the damages incurred may be emotionally and financially difficult for the patient. Under such circumstances; however, a Maryland patient may be entitled to compensation. Through a medical malpractice lawsuit, the victim and the victim's family may recover payment for medical costs, rehabilitation and other benefits.

Source: Forbes, "The Shocking Truth About Medication Errors," Leah Binder, Sept. 3, 2013

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