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Checklist developed by EMS group reduces medication errors

There are many types of action or inaction in the medical world that could lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit in Kansas City. In addition to the failure to diagnose, some patients are injured due to errors that occurred in course of a surgical procedure. Still others are hurt when physical conditions of the medical facility allow them to fall. Another reason that many people are hurt while under the care of a medical provider is an error concerning medication they are provided.

Medication errors may take various forms as well. Sometimes the wrong medication is administered. In other cases it is the right medication but the wrong amount. Sometimes the medication prescribed is given in the right amount but the patient who receives it has a drug interaction that should have prevented it from being prescribed in the first place.

Because medication errors happen so frequently, there is a concerted effort by many in the medical field to take the necessary steps to reduce them. An emergency medical services group in a neighboring state has developed a process that appears to be having great success. Due to its success, at least two other medical providers in the nation are adopting the process, and others are considering it.

The process consists of a brief scripted conversation that is shared between two medical providers. It is essentially a verbalization of the checklist most routinely run through in their head. The effective piece of this process seems to be that verbalization. It appears to trigger the recognition of mistakes that otherwise might be missed.

While a reduction in medication errors is obviously best for all involved, patients who have been injured due to the issue may be able to recover financial damages via a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Source: The Wichita Eagle, "Sedgwick County EMS develops process to reduce medication errors," Rick Plumlee, May 4, 2013

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