Among the top errors in medicine are those concerning patients’ medications. Mistakes occur when patients misuse prescription medications as well as when they are prescribed the wrong prescriptions by patient care providers.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that adverse drug events cause more than 700,000 emergency room visits and 120,000 hospitalizations each year,” as reported in Dr. Mary Anna Sullivan’s ‘Physician Focus’ column.
Dr. Sullivan’s column, titled ‘Be vigilant about medication safety,’ explains that the amount of medications taken are overwhelming, as “estimates are that 82 percent of Americans take a least one prescription medication, and 29 percent take five or more.”
It is vital for men and women in physician services to be aware of what their patients are taking and to advise patients of the possible drug interactions with other medicines as well as with alcoholic beverages and certain foods.
“Medication safety is a team sport, with the physician, pharmacist and patient all playing key roles,” said Dr. Sullivan. “The patient, however, as the last link in the chain and as the ultimate consumer, must be extra vigilant.”
“Physician Focus” is a special section that runs in the “Milford Daily News.” The Massachusetts-based newspaper is local to the Milford community.