Nursing Home Medication Errors

Nursing Home Medication Errors

According to the authors of one of the largest studies to date, medication-related injuries in nursing homes are common and often preventable according.

Out of the total number of adverse drug events identified in the study, one of them was fatal, thirty-one (6%) were life-threatening, 206 (38%) were serious, and 308 (56%) were significant. During the course of the study, 188 potential adverse drug events were also identified.

Example of an actual medication error:

A state enrolled nurse gave 300 mg morphine which had been prescribed for one patient who was dying from cancer to another patient in an adjoining room at a nursing home. The 77 year old recipient was bed bound with severe emphysema and pneumoconiosis. A general practitioner advised careful observations. About 11 hours after he had been given the morphine, the man was found collapsed and in coma. An ambulance was summoned, the paramedic crew gave naloxone, and the patient recovered consciousness and was taken to hospital, but he had a further seizure and died.

CMS launched a quality initiative to help people who rely on Medicare and Medicaid programs and their family members find the best nursing homes for their needs. Initially, CMS will identify, collect and publish nursing home quality information in Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington, and then will work to expand the demonstration nationally. Over the next several years, CMS will work to develop and publish similar, meaningful consumer information for home health agencies, and eventually hospitals and other types of providers. This information will give beneficiaries, their families and their physicians the information they need to make informed choices of their providers. CMS and AHRQ continue to work with the National Quality Forum, a private group of major employers and other purchasers of health care, to identify and evaluate quality measures.

Have you or someone you know fallen victim to nursing home medication errors? If so, contact one of our qualified nursing home attorneys in your area today!