As concern grows regarding the safety of patients in light of common medical errors, it is imperative that individuals seeking health care be proactive about their protection. For people seeking treatment in New Mexico, proper education and careful attention can provide them with an added measure of safety.

While medical errors encompass a variety of mistakes, one particular misstep involves prescription medication. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, patients who have been prescribed medications can better protect themselves by doing several things. These include the following:

  • Disclose any drug allergies to their health care provider. 
  • Make a thorough list of all medications, supplements and vitamins they are taking and give their health care provider a copy.
  • Ask their health care provider what the purpose of the medication is, what kinds of side effects may be experienced and whether or not it could be harmful when taken with certain substances or other drugs.
  • Receive verification from their doctor regarding how frequently the medication should be taken.
  • Consult with their pharmacist to guarantee that the proper medication is being received, dosages are correct and potency is appropriate for what the doctor prescribed.
  • Ask the pharmacist any questions they have in regards to information found on the prescription label. 
  • Double check to make sure there is a measuring device included for liquid prescriptions. if not, they should ask their pharmacist what type of device is appropriate for accurate dosages.

According to The New York Times, medical errors are astonishingly common in the U.S. making them the third leading cause of death in the nation.