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davidtrump

Prescription writing errors

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Prescription writing is something that I used to worry so much about in my 3rd year of medical school. I probably killed a whole tree tearing up prescriptions that were wrong. Why did I worry so much about it? Prescription writing was not covered very well at my medical school. And with the amount of material that needs to be covered in those 4 years, I’m sure writing prescriptions is not that well covered at any medical school. Maybe that’s one of the reasons there are so many medication errors in medicine. Look at some of these commonly quoted statistics:

  • Medication errors occur in approximately 1 in every 5 doses given in hospitals.
  • One error occurs per patient per day.
  • 1.3 million people are injured and approximately 7000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. from medication-related errors
  • Drug-related morbidity and mortality is estimated to cost $177 billion in the U.S.

While these are just estimates from various studies and statistical models, the numbers are staggering. If there are 800,000 physicians in the United States, each physician accounts for $221,250! Do you still wonder why malpractice insurance is so expensive?

Hopefully if you are reading this, you are interested in NOT making mistakes. Even though I don’t think I caused any major harm to any of my patients with prescription errors, I wish that I had read something like this when I first started writing prescriptions when I was in my 3rd year of medical school.

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