How Can Proper Labels Help Reduce Medical Errors?

In healthcare, a proper label can mean the difference between life or death. Medical labels are used by health care professionals to ensure proper patient care and by pharmaceutical providers to relay important drug information. Labels are used for IV bags, drug administration, prescription containers, and other purposes in a healthcare setting. They often contain the drug’s name, dosage, and any required warnings. These identifiers are used in a number of healthcare environments to make certain:

  • Patients Receive the Right Dosage
  • Patients Receive the Appropriate Medication
  • All Drugs Are Handled Correctly

In pharmacies, these labels provide the patient with warnings and instructions necessary to properly take the prescribed dosage. There have been many instances where a prescription, hospital medicine, IV bag, or other item has been mislabeled. In these situations, patients have experienced a harmful and avoidable scenario. The most common medical errors caused by improper labeling include:

  • Administration of the Wrong Medications
  • Using Too High or Low of a Dosage
  • Giving a Patient Drugs They Are Allergic To
  • Prescribing a Negatively Interacting Medication
  • Not Warning Patients of Certain Side Effects

Outside of dependable labeling solutions, health professionals must always ensure the information is accurate before administering drugs or prescribing them. In hectic medical environments where thousands of medications are potentially given, it is very easy to administer the wrong dosage, read the information incorrectly, or to give a shot in the wrong place. Since each medication has different requirements, it important to have all the necessary information on hand for proper drug administration and prescription fulfillment.

What Measures Need to Be Taken to Guarantee Accuracy?

A legible, accurate label saves lives in the busiest of medical environments and during any emergency situation. Poor quality products will fade under certain conditions or smudge. Certain regulations have been passed as well to guarantee drug labels make medications easy to identify and manage. Specific colors and text must be present on the identifier to make administration or prescription fulfillment easier.

The first step is to use a label provider who is able to meet the strenuous demands of your specific medication atmosphere. They should be able to provide labels that meet the codes set forth by the government to prevent misadministration of drugs. Health professionals need to make certain this information is accurate before administering the drug or providing it to the patent. The following practices will also prove to be beneficial:

  • Verify Drug Name & Dosage on the Label
  • Keep Similar Medications Separate to Avoid Mix Ups
  • Store Medications Appropriately (Refrigeration or Room Temp)
  • Properly Document the Medication & All Procedures
  • Be Familiar with Medical Administration Policies & Guidelines
  • Carry a Drug Guide with You to Double Check Information

By using a reliable provider, properly marking every medication, and following the tips above, the chances of a drug administration or prescription error are greatly reduced. At Shamrock Labels, we offer a number of products and services to ensure you get the precise labels you need to prevent these dangerous situations. Give us a call today to learn how our products can help you provide the best patient or customer care.

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