Study Reveals Poison Pill Among Hospital Prescriptions

A new study analyzing hospital prescriptions shows startling and potentially deadly trends.

• On average, a patient is subject to one medication gaffe every day.
• 1.5 million Americans get sick, hurt or are killed by prescription errors.
• 25% of these are preventable.

The study advised hospitals to switching to electronically written prescriptions, use bar codes and develop integrated, compatible prescription systems between hospitals, doctors and pharmacies.

Furthermore, patients need to be proactive in learning about the drugs they’re prescribed, why, and the recommended dosage.

You don’t want your obituary to read, “Killed By Bad Handwriting.”

Medication Errors Injure More Than 1.5 million Yearly, Study Finds” [CNN]

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  1. bambino says:

    “• 25% of these are preventable.”
    What? How about 100% of these are preventable? Our world has taken the occurence of ‘lack of attention’ and deemed it an ‘accident’.

  2. Ben Popken says:

    Octavia writes:

    “I do not have commenting privileges, but I would like to say this about the article on mistakes in hospital medications:

    I’m not sure the numbers listed there are very useful out of context. In the past ten years, I have spent a total of 8 days in two different hospitals in my area, and have had zero medication errors. If the average is one error per day, shouldn’t I have encountered at least one error during that time? Maybe the probability of getting the wrong meds is higher in certain areas, or if you have a longer/shorter stay, or if you come in through the ER, etc.

    I’m with bambino on the “preventable” numbers, though – if they are accidents, then they are nearly ALL preventable. Somebody pulled that “25%” number out of their @$$ just to be funny. “

  3. Ben Popken says:

    Octavia: They arrived at those numbers by dividing the number incidents by number of days patients were in hospital.

    It’s just like flipping a coin, even there’s a 50-50 chance, it is statistically possible for the coin to land tails up 10 times in a row.

  4. konstantConsumer says:

    i think that some aren’t preventable because a patient wasn’t aware of an allergy, or something like that.

  5. Special K says:

    as a medical student, i’ve spent enough time in a hospital to know that these stats are either wildly exaggerated or just straight up false. unless *my* team just happens to be ‘extra good’ at what we do.