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How do prescription errors originate?

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2024 | Medical Malpractice |

Prescription medications play a big role in managing health conditions, from chronic illnesses to infections. However, when errors occur in prescribing or dispensing these medications, the consequences are serious.

Understanding the dangers of prescription errors is important for protecting a person’s health.

Lack of information

When a healthcare provider prescribes medication, they should make sure that the prescription includes the right information related to the patient. Mixing up numbers or neglecting to check facts can result in mistakes. Errors in dosage, frequency or medication type may happen.

For example, taking too much of a medication can result in overdose symptoms. However, taking too little may fail to adequately treat the underlying condition.


One common cause of prescription errors is miscommunication between healthcare providers. In busy medical settings, doctors, nurses and pharmacists may not communicate well.

This leads to misunderstandings or oversights. Additionally, sloppy handwriting on paper prescriptions can confuse pharmacists, potentially resulting in the wrong medication.

Technology and human error

While technology has improved prescription accuracy in many ways, it is not foolproof. Electronic prescribing systems can still lead to errors. These include selecting the wrong medication from a dropdown menu or typing incorrect dosage instructions. Human error remains a big issue in prescription mistakes, highlighting the importance of thorough double-checking.

Adverse drug reactions and extreme allergies are among the many risks of incorrect medication usage. In severe cases, prescription errors can result in hospitalization and organ damage. Patient safety and well-being should be a serious concern for doctors since medical malpractice can happen at any time.