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Communication may be key to preventing medical errors

Many North Carolina residents are caregivers for their elderly parents. When a parent takes several different medications, making certain that all of the doctors and other health care professionals are on the same page is very important. Errors are much more likely to occur when the medical professionals in a parent's life are unaware of medications others have prescribed or when the communication is inadequate.

One thing people can do is to make certain they keep copies of an updated list of their parent's medications. This list should include both the name brands and generic names of each medicine, the dosages, the times when the parent takes each one and how often each day they are supposed to be taken. It is important to also note any over-the-counter medicines or supplements the parent also takes.

When parents go to the hospital or to their doctor's office, their children should bring along the medication list with them. They should go over it with the nurse and make certain it is inputted into their parent's medical record correctly. If changes are made, they should ask why and for the doctor to detail both the change and the reasoning in the appointment paperwork for when the parent is discharged.

Being assertive and establishing good communication with all of a parent's medical and healthcare providers can go a long way towards helping to prevent prescription errors. Not all medication errors will be prevented with good communication, however. Those whose family members have been harmed by this type of mistake may want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney to learn what legal remedies they may have.

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Communication may be key to preventing medical errors | Britton Law, P.A.