Study Finds Nursing Home Drug Errors Often Caused By Miscommunication

April 10, 2012
A recent study in the Journal of Gerontological Nursing says that researchers at the University of Missouri discovered that drug errors in nursing homes are likely to occur because of miscommunications among staff. According to a news release from the university, estimates show that as many as 800,000 of these preventable mistakes occur each year.
Researchers found that the time when most of these medication mistakes occur is during a period of medication reconciliation. This is a time after a patient is transferred in which doctors, nurses, and pharmacists should closely scrutinize a patient’s drug regimen in order to determine any problems or discrepancies.
The study found that doctors and pharmacists are often too busy to participate in this process at nursing homes and leave the job to the nursing staff. This can become a potential problem, as a system of checks and balances is necessary for each patient. Failure to complete this could cause medication problems to be overlooked.
Researchers concluded that better communication among staff could reduce the number of adverse drug events each year.
The Missouri Drug Injury Lawyers with Cofman Townsley Injury Lawyers know that the transfer process to or from a nursing home or hospital is a vulnerable time period for seniors in poor health. Improving these transfers and the communication between healthcare providers will go far in reducing the number of adverse events associated with these moves.