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Avoiding adverse drug events in New York nursing homes

For many Queens, New York, residents, a nursing home is a place where their beloved elders and patients are well taken care of. Unfortunately, there are cases of nursing home residents dying because of negligence. Nursing home negligence may range from failure to prevent bed sores, to failure to monitor patients to other nursing home abuses. However, a nursing home error - adverse drug events - have been found as the cause of nursing home deaths every year.

Adverse drug events may have an unfortunate outcome for a patient, such as allergic reactions and drug-induced illnesses. A new study, however, revealed that nursing home errors concerning adverse drug events can be avoided. Recent research in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association suggested that doctors can prevent potential adverse drug events by checking the drug information while prescribing medications.

In fact, the study discovered that nearly 90 percent of doctors have prevented at least one harmful drug reaction by using their mobile device to watch for drug information. Consequently, the researchers suggested that doctors, particularly nursing home doctors, should take advantage of the drug-reference software on mobile devices.

An expert noted that most U.S. nursing homes, including those in New York, do not have electronic medical record systems and due to this, drug information about the medications is not easily accessible. Also, the lack of accurate and timely medication information may result in cases of adverse drug events that can be harmful to patients and nursing home residents.

Any incidents that result in a nursing home resident's injuries or worsened condition may subject the nursing home owners to liability. In instances where an adverse drug event occurs in a nursing home, the victim may have the legal right to hold the nursing home owners and its staff liable for the nursing home's error. If that is the case, pursuing compensation for the damages and expenses will hopefully relieve the victim and the family of the financial and economic losses that they would have to endure.

Source: Doctors Lounge, "Smartphones May Help Nursing Home Docs Spot Drug Mishaps," Oct. 22, 2013

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