Patients rely on medical professionals in New Jersey to get them back on their feet, not knock them off their feet with medical blunders. Unfortunately, medical errors are quite common, but, thankfully, patients can do their part to prevent unnecessary mistakes.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality offers several ways for patients to protect themselves from medical errors.
Keep physicians in the loop
Patients on multiple prescriptions should ensure their doctor and pharmacist know every medication they take. This includes over-the-counter medication, daily supplements and the like.
Additionally, health care professionals need to know what patients are undoubtedly allergic to and anything they think they could be allergic to. The same applies to any adverse reactions experienced after taking a medication.
Patients should double-check the name of the medication written on a prescription. The medication’s intended use should match the patient’s health care needs. Patients should repeat this process when they go to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription, to ensure the pharmacist does not give them the wrong medication, notes the FDA.
Ask about common side effects
Knowing about common prescription side effects helps patients know what to expect while taking medication. Also, if something out of the ordinary happens, patients know when they should contact their doctor or pharmacist about an unknown adverse reaction.
Ensure prescriptions are legible
Doctors are not known for having the best handwriting. Patients should be sure they can clearly read the name of a medication on a prescription slip, to better ensure a pharmacist can easily read it can give the right medication.
Patients should keep their medications in their original containers. This helps avoid confusion, especially with medicines that have similar shapes, names and colors.