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How can prescription errors happen due to distractions?

On Behalf of | Nov 29, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

In the world of healthcare, getting prescriptions right is important. Mistakes in the medical field happen more often than people realize.

One big reason for this is distractions in the healthcare environment.

Large amounts of work

Hospitals and clinics are busy places with a lot going on. In a 2020 survey of healthcare workers, 43% of them reported that they struggled with workplace overload.

Distractions can come from beeping machines or patients asking questions. With so much happening, even a short moment of not paying full attention can lead to mistakes in writing prescriptions.

Time pressure

One common distraction is the large number of patients healthcare professionals deal with every day. Trying to see everyone in a short amount of time can make it tough to give full attention to each prescription. The rush to make quick decisions increases the chance of missing important details and making errors.

Technology issues

While technology has made healthcare better in many ways, it also brings its own distractions. Electronic health records require constant attention, with healthcare providers jumping between screens to update patient info. This multitasking with technology can take focus away from writing prescriptions carefully, leading to mistakes.

Communication challenges

Good communication is key in healthcare, but distractions can mess it up. Missing a message or not understanding a communication can result in mistakes in prescription details like dosage or how to take the medicine. Fixing distractions in how healthcare professionals talk to each other is important to make sure prescriptions are accurate.

Figuring out how distractions play a role is important to stop these mistakes from happening. By taking proactive measures, healthcare professionals can keep patients safe and make sure prescription mistakes do not happen.