Medication errors that cause injuries have jumped from 1.2 million in 2002 to 1.9 million in 2009 according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. These types of errors may either be errors in dosage or drug errors where the wrong drug is administered.
The data reported by AHRQ only consists in those errors that are reported due to an emergency room or hospital visit.
A 2006 Institute of Medicine report noted that the most common medical error is medication errors which costs $3.5 billion in lost wages, lost productivity, and added medcial expenses.
According to the NY Times, “The committee said the problem could be solved with improvements in communication between health care professionals and patients, as well as the creation of consumer-friendly information resources for patients to obtain drug information. The report called for more electronic prescriptions and said better naming, labeling and packaging of many drugs was needed to reduce confusion and prevent errors.
The A.H.R.Q. data showed that among patients who were admitted to the hospital after taking the wrong type or dose of a drug, the most common medications to cause side effects or injuries were corticosteroids. The drugs typically are used to treat asthma, ulcerative colitis or arthritis.”
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