Avoiding Medication Errors
A few weeks ago, Hope Health Advocacy posted a poll asking, “How many people (in the US) do you think die every year from medication errors?” The results were as follows:
0% voted for 10-100
0% voted for 100-2,000
60% voted for 2,000-7,000
40% voted for 7,000-9,000
What is the takeaway here? The majority of voters believed that 2,000-7,000 people in the US die every year from medication errors. The correct answer is slightly higher: 7,000-9,000 people. That is between .0021%-.0027% of the population (based on the 2020 census). From a public health standpoint, these numbers are statistically insignificant. However, just because those numbers are far below 1%, it does not mean that each of those 7,000-9,000 people don’t matter. Each of those people have family, loved ones, friends, and pets that love them dearly. Even just one life taken from a medication error is one too many.
In a modern-day society that boasts not only skilled professionals but also computers as safeguards, how does this happen?
The answer is not that professionals (doctors, pharmacists, etc.) do not know how to do their jobs. It is because many patients go to multiple doctors, specialists, hospitals, and pharmacies while seeking treatment. With all of these institutions involved, it is easy for information to fall between the cracks. Add on top of this the understaffed healthcare field, natural human error, and computer error, and the number of medication errors makes sense.
How Can We Combat This?
The number one way to ensure that you or a loved one do not become a statistic is to utilize a patient advocate. As a former pharmacist with over 20 years of experience, you can rest assured that you will be taken care of. I offer comprehensive medication reviews which go over every prescription and supplement that you are taking. Proper medication, dose, and frequency are reviewed and adjustments are made if necessary. One of the top issues I saw while working as a pharmacist was polypharmacy - the use of multiple drugs to treat a single ailment or condition. No one should be on more medications than they need to be. This is a significant benefit to a medication review, as many doctors will not suggest a change of medication unless complications arise or interactions occur. Less medication leads to a decreased risk of error.
By working with Hope Health Advocacy, you ensure an optimized therapeutic outcome from your treatment plan. This includes receiving information and resources about your treatment plans, as well as streamlining communication between providers. Together, we can safeguard your health against medication errors. Get started today by booking a discovery call here.
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