Some Ways to Avoid
Consumer tips for avoiding medication errors, from the
Institute of Medicine:
-Maintain a list of prescription and nonprescription drugs,
vitamins and other dietary supplements you use. Take that list
with you whenever you visit a health care provider.
-Ask your doctor to write down the drug's name, dose and
how to take it. At the pharmacy, make sure those instructions
match what's on the bottle you're given.
-You can ask both the doctor and pharmacist about side
effects and how to use the drug.
-Pharmacies often maintain computer records that can flag
drugs that will interact dangerously, if you fill all your
prescriptions at the same chain.
-Information leaflets usually come with prescription drugs,
but ask the pharmacist for one if you don't receive it.
-At the hospital, ask the doctor and nurse what drugs
you're being given and why.
-Before surgery, ask if there are any medicines you should
avoid or stop taking beforehand.
-Prior to hospital discharge, ask for a list of medications
you should be taking at home and how to take them.
-In the hospital, you have the right to have a relative or
other surrogate present whenever you receive medication and
cannot monitor that process yourself.