"A 1999 study by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) estimates up to 100,000 people die and roughly another half million are seriously injured each year due to hospital errors. Costs to the nation are approximately $37.6 million, with $17 million associated with preventable errors."
Recently, I went to pick up a prescription for my two-year-old. It had been called in by a doctor covering for her regular physician that was out. Before they even handed me the medication, I realized that it was wrong. The pharmacy staff said that this is what the doctor called in.
As I waited for the correct medication to be made up, I started thinking about medical errors. Another person might not have realized the mistake and taken it home and given it. Had it been given, it probably wouldn't have caused a lot of problems. But, it makes one realize that everybody has to be on their toes. People make mistakes, it will always happen.
How many of you carefully review each and every prescription you receive? Do you double check dosages? Do you familiarize yourself with the drug, and its various uses? Do you look at the insert that they give you at all?
Just paying attention on the part of both medical providers AND patients would do so much to reduce the incidence of medical mistakes and malpractice claims. Awareness might not only save lives, but it will also impact the cost of health care. We need both.