Most medical experts in Providence County would agree that up-to-the-minute diagnostic testing and an observance of a patient’s current symptoms are both required in order to deliver adequate care. Any deviation from this standard could result in inappropriate therapies or interventions to be ordered, the application of which could potentially cause one’s condition to worsen even to the point of death. If such deviations are discovered, those affected by such errors may justly wonder why they ever happened.
Medications are an essential element of healthcare. At the same time, they also can pose a serious risk to patients in Providence County. If you are prescribed a medication by your doctor, you likely have full confidence that he or she understands exactly what affect it may have on you, and that your pharmacy will fill and label your prescription correctly. Most share this same assumption, yet the 100,000 hospitalizations and 700,000 emergency department visits that occur every year that the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality lists as being due to adverse drug events seems to cast doubt on such confidence.
If you are like most in Providence County, then you likely view going to the hospital for treatment with a certain degree of apprehension. Yet due you exhibit the same hesitancy when visiting a local healthcare clinic? Information shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that compared to hospitals, clinics handle much higher volumes of patients seeking outpatient services. Their data shows that in 2012, over 928 million Americans sought care from physician’s offices and clinics, while in 2011, just under 128 million people went to hospitals for such services. Given the huge discrepancy in the number of visits between the two types of facilities, you might assume you have a greater risk of suffering from a provider error at a clinic.
When your doctor in Providence County prescribes you a medication, you take it likely trusting that his or her confidence in it is enough of a guarantee regarding its safety. You should remember, however, that medications are made by pharmaceutical companies whose goals may at times be focused more on profits than patient safety. If a prescription drug does cause you or a loved one harm, who should be blamed: your doctor or the drug manufacturer?
Most in Providence County may tell you that drug errors occur when a healthcare provider gives a patient the wrong medication. While this certainly may be among the more common types of medication mistakes, the truth is that drug errors can occur any number of different ways. Almost as important as receiving the right drug is being administered the recommended dosage at the correct concentration. Beyond that, the administration route must also be considered. What are drug routes? They are the various methods through which a medication is introduced into your body.
Many in Providence County, after having been written a prescription by their doctors, may go to their local pharmacies fully expecting those orders to be filled correctly. To prevent errors from happening, pharmacies may even have safeguards in place such as computer systems that warn them they may be dispensing the wrong medication. Yet even with added measures such as these, medication errors continue to happen. When they do, one’s only logical conclusion when trying to explain such mistakes may be to attribute them to human error.
If you are like most in Providence County, then it has likely been drilled into your head since you were young to be careful not to take the wrong medication. However, if you have been prescribed a medication by a doctor and secured it through a licensed pharmacy, then most may find it reasonable for you to assume that you have the correct drug. Even if you pay close attention to the drug label, your lack of familiarity with prescription drug names may not tip you off to possibly having been given the wrong medication. So what should you do if you are given the wrong drug and end up taking it?
Most people in Providence County would likely associate errors involving a patient's medication to instances where he or she was either given an incorrect dosage of a prescribed medication or administered the wrong medication altogether. While such errors certainly rank among the more common types of medication errors, another less-apparent yet potentially as damaging a mistake is a medication omission. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists defines an omission error as "the failure to administer an ordered dose to a patient before the next scheduled dose, if any."
As springtime is in full gear now, many Rhode Island residents may experience seasonal allergies. Runny, itchy eyes, sinus congestion and sneezing are often some of the tell-tale signs of these conditions. However, these are not the only types of allergies that people should be aware of. People can also experience allergic reactions to prescription medications. In some situations, these allergies may be very serious and even life threatening. For this reason, it is important that health care providers communicate well with patients when prescribing drugs.
People in Rhode Island have seen a dramatic increase in the use of wearable devices over the past few years. This trend has been experienced around the nation and is part of the country’s continued focus on how to improve people’s health while making use of technology. But, can wearables be more than they are today? If they can, what would that look like?