Prescription Medication Errors

Prescription Medication Errors In Nursing Homes

July 5, 2016 by James McHugh, Jr.
Medication Errors In Nursing Homes

Because of the high volume of patients in nursing homes, residents are at a higher risk of prescription medication errors. Prescription medication errors are defined as any preventable event that leads to any inappropriate medication distribution or patient harm while the medication is in the hands of a health care professional. Prescription medication errors in nursing homes can cause devastating consequences for the residents.

Types of Medication Errors in Nursing Homes Can Include:

  • Over or under dosing the patient
  • Failing to provide patient with medication
  • Mixing up medications for patients
  • Providing expired medication
  • Failing to provide medication at the correct frequency
  • Failure to shake or mix medications that require mixing

How Do Prescription Medication Errors in Nursing Homes Happen?

Most nursing homes administer large amounts of medication to a large number of residents at the same time. Because nursing home workers are handling such a large volume of medications, the likelihood of prescription medication errors is greatly increased. Special care has to be taken to ensure the right medication gets to the correct resident.

Another underlying factor of prescription medication errors in nursing homes is a high resident to staff ratio. Nursing home workers who are overwhelmed with a high number of patients are more likely to make mistakes. Ensuring nursing homes are properly staffed is the easiest way to prevent nursing home prescription medication errors.

Regardless of the method of administering medications or resident to staff ratio, nursing homes must meet certain standards of care for its residents. Agencies like Medicare, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Center of Elder Abuse, and the Pennsylvania Department of Aging all work to help make certain nursing homes uphold these standards of care. However, when nursing homes fail, they can and should be held responsible.

Philadelphia Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

If you suspect your loved one experienced a prescription medication error while in a nursing home, retain the professional services of a Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyer who can confront those responsible in a court of law. Lopez McHugh LLP has helped dozens of victims obtain compensation from negligent nursing homes. Call us today for a free consultation.

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