People in New Jersey and throughout the country are at risk of medical errors once they are discharged from the hospital. From the wrong medications to incomplete or inaccurate discharge instructions, some errors can be fatal. Nursing homes, home health care agencies and other providers that care for people after a hospital discharge are also implicated in some of these mistakes.
Lack of communication is one problem. Nursing homes and other rehabilitation facilities did not receive any of the $30 billion that Congress approved to shift to a system of electronic medical records. From January 2010 to July 2015, one analysis found that more than 3,000 home health care agencies did not review or track medications adequately for new patients. Some of those patients were taking dangerous drug combinations.
One family won a lawsuit after a woman died of organ failure when multiple health care providers did not notice that the drug she was prescribed to take daily after congestive heart failure was actually a toxic drug that patients who do not have cancer are not supposed to take more than twice a week. A pharmacy technician initially wrote the order down wrong. However, the pharmacist did not catch the error even though the Institute for Safe Medication Practices lists it as one of eight high-alert medications.
Medical errors are a serious concern to anyone who is undergoing medical care or who has family members that are. People who believe that they or their loved ones may have been victims of medical malpractice may want to speak to a medical malpractice attorney if harm has resulted from an error. The mistake might range from a serious surgical error such as leaving a sponge behind in a patient to mistakes during labor and delivery, a wrong diagnosis, the wrong dosage of medication and more.