When you seek medical attention in Oregon, your assumption is that you can trust your healthcare professionals to make the right choices for the injuries and illnesses you are dealing with. Unfortunately, even physicians, aides and nurses make mistakes, and many patients fall victim to medication errors at senior living facilities, pharmacies, hospitals and offices.

Mayo Clinic reports that medication errors happen most commonly for several reasons. The following are the most common reasons that they occur:

  • Medical abbreviations
  • Medications and drug names that look or sound alike
  • Poor communication between the doctor and the patient
  • Poor communication between different providers

While it is the healthcare professional’s responsibility to prescribe and administer the right medication, the patient can help to protect themselves in several ways. Knowledge is the best protection in these cases and there are several things you should discuss with your providers before taking a medication.

Ask your doctor what the generic name and brand name of the medication is. Discuss how long you should take it before you see results and what it is supposed to do. Ask about the dose and how long you should be taking it. Request information about what you should do if you accidentally take more than recommended, and what activities, medications, drinks and food you should avoid while on the medication.

Ask about any side effects you may see while on the medication. Question your doctor or pharmacist about what you should do if you have the side effects. Finally, discuss if the new medication will interfere with any medications you are currently taking. While digital prescriptions can help to cut back on medication errors, patients can take their health into their own hands by always double-checking medication before taking it.

This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.