Poor Coordination Can Result in Medical Errors

Julia Little  |  August 14, 2011

A new survey, which covered seven different countries - including the U.S., U.K. and Canada - found that 11 percent of participants reported experiencing a medical error during the past two years. One of the biggest palces for error appeared to be the expense of medicine, which increased the risk of problems by anywhere from 50 to 160 percent.

"Medication errors are a serious safety concern, a major cause of adverse drug events and one of the most preventable causes of patient injury" said study lead author Dr. Christine Lu from Harvard Medical School. He added that more than 27 percent of adult out-patients are admitted to hospitals because of issues with medications.

Overall, researchers discovered that poor coordination among care providers can be to blame in many cases, increasing the risk of medication and medical errors by 110 to 200 percent.

Medication mismanagement may also be caused by family caregivers who are unsure of an elderly adult's exact medical requirements. In these cases, families may want to consider looking into assisted living communities, where healthcare professionals can assist adults in taking the right amount of medications each day and oversee care and ensure that there is little chance of error.

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