A recent report, published in the Journal of Toxicology, found that people in the United States are making errors in dosing medications at home. The medications most commonly associated with non-healthcare facility medication errors include cardiovascular drugs, analgesics and hormones/hormone antagonists, such as insulin. The analgesics explored in the study were mostly over-the-counter painkillers, and dosing errors were unintended. Errors in the dosing of liquid medications were also common. These errors resulted in emergency room visits, hospitalizations and even death.
Physicians, dentists and other healthcare providers should be cognizant of the need for patient and caregiver education in the proper administration of both prescribed and over-the-counter medications. Teaching patients and caregivers effective strategies to assist in the proper administration of medications in the home environment, including using “the teach-back method,” will improve effective medication management and health outcomes.
To read an article from The Washington Times that explores this study in more depth, click here.