Pharmacies and their staff have a very important role in providing the correct and safe dosages of medication. Pharmacist must understand the physician’s order and fill it accurately. Most pharmacies today utilize state of the art computer programs to help identify potential problems with the prescriptions or errors in the order.
Patients also have a responsibility to take medications as prescribed. Our Florida patient safety attorneys recommend that you confirm that you are in fact taking the right dose of the right drug, at the right time, every time. Ask your pharmacist to provide dosage is information if you are uncertain.
Here are some additional patient safety tips to avoid being a victim of a medication mistake or prescription error:
- Always disclose to your pharmacist all the medications and over-the-counter drugs you are taking, including vitamins and herbal remedies. Even over the counter herbal drugs might have potential drug interactions with prescription medications.
- Update your prescription history and confirm that pharmacy’s computer has all current prescription, allergies and/or drug reaction information.
- Know the number of refills you can get without the need for a follow up appointment with your doctor.
When picking up medication at your pharmacy:
- Confirm you have the correct drug and dosage at the counter by comparing the label and the prescription.
- Liquids usually have a unique scent. Learn to recognize your liquid medications by smell.
- Pediatric medications are at high risk for dosage errors. Make sure you understand the prescribed amount such as teaspoon versus tablespoon. Do not be embarrassed to ask.
We suggest that you keep a detailed list of all of your medications as well as the time of day you take them. Consider one of the new apps that help keep track of medications and schedule of doses.