Dorian, Goldstein, Wisniewski & Orchinik
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Disruptions can cause medication errors

When Pennsylvania patients are hospitalized, they expect their health care staff to provide their medications in a timely and safe manner. This job falls to the nurses. However, the nurses' jobs also include other tasks, all of which must be balanced. This means that nurses often experience numerous disruptions and interruptions throughout their workday, which could potentially lead to errors.

For example, when nurses are attempting to pull a medication from an automated dispensing cabinet, they could be disrupted by another health care professional who may need an emergency medication or who may have questions regarding another patient's care. Once the disruption is taken care of, the nurse must still actually deliver the medication to the patient, during which more disruptions can and often happen. Because nurses have a large number of responsibilities, they cannot simply ignore the disruption until their current task is complete.

There are ways that hospitals can improve patient safety when it comes to nurse interruptions and medication errors. For example, advanced automated dispensing cabinets can remind the nurses where they were when they were disrupted. If nurses are in the middle of dispensing medications but must react to an emergency, the advanced cabinets allow them to pick right back up where they were without having to recall where they were from memory.

When hospital negligence occurs due to a medication error made by a doctor or a nurse, the patient could suffer severe complications. Those who have been harmed in such a manner may want to discuss their rights and available remedies with a medical malpractice attorney.

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