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Tips for preventing medication errors in Florida

Brush up on what you can do to avoid becoming a victim of medication errors. Asking the right questions can help you avoid a disaster.

You have finally received the medication you need to treat the recent health scare that sent you rushing to a Florida hospital. Or, maybe your condition is less severe, but still one that requires treatment. Either way, you may need to take medication to improve your health. Before you fill your prescription and start taking your medication, know what you can do on your end to prevent unnecessary medication errors, which can result in more health issues.

Know the name of the prescription

Doctors are not known for having the best handwriting, and they could neglect to tell you the name of your medication, leaving that up to the pharmacist. Ask the name of the medication, and get both the brand and generic name. That way, you can compare what your doctor tells you with what the pharmacist gives you to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Read up on the medication

Once you have got the name of the medication, do some research. Specifically, understand what the medication is for, what side effects you can expect and if there are any risks in taking it. Your physician should be aware of this information to ensure you can take it without worry, but you have to take responsibility for your own health. Doctors can make mistakes just like anyone else.

Communicate with all your doctors and healthcare professionals

If you have more than one doctor or health care professional, keep them in the loop with each other if you take medication, supplements or vitamins. Medication can impact your health in ways you may not understand or be aware of. Your chiropractor should know the medication your physician or therapist prescribed, in case that medication impacts your treatment. Even if you take over-the-counter medication or a daily supplement, anyone helping you improve your health needs to know that.

Look into medication reconciliation

If you take multiple medications, look into medication reconciliation. Essentially, your doctor has a list of the medications you currently take and compares them to the list of medications she has. What this does is better ensure you do not take duplicate prescriptions, experience a negative drug interaction, run into dosing errors or miss a medication dose. When you are either admitted or discharged, change doctors or have a change in your level/type of care, consider medication reconciliation.

Even with these precautions, there is no guarantee you will not suffer a medication error in Florida. Should you ever have questions about your prescription or its results, consult with a legal professional.