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Hospitals need to catch-up on tech to prevent medication errors

Advancements in medicine often mean new and better opportunities for patients in Pennsylvania. Nonetheless, furthering the technology and procedures used in medical care does present some problems. While future medical professionals may be prepared and ready to use these advancements, current medical professionals may have to play major catch-up if such advancements are going to be utilized. If medical facilities are not properly adapted for changes in medical treatments and procedures, this could mean medical errors and injured patients.

The beginning of this year was marked by a major medical announcement by the White House. Making a bold bid to do away with cancer, a nationwide "Moonshot" initiative was made. Mark Zuckerberg promised to bankroll research efforts for cancer, increasing the funding for brainstorming cures by billions of dollars. While these efforts have good intentions, such initiatives could be problematic for the current medical industry.

For every moonshot initiative, there exists an endless list of problems plaguing the medical industry, and one of those issues is medication error. According to recent statistics, medication errors kill roughly 7,000 patients a year. But that isn't as alarming as the number of patients who accidently receive the wrong medication. This amounts to around seven million a year.

These incidents are known as preventable adverse drug events, and they are a prime example of a medical area where money could be funneled and resources applied to prevent these errors from occurring. Because many hospitals are very behind when it comes to the current technologies used to avoid these preventable medical mistakes, this means taking major steps to implement new technology across the board. While some medical facilities update their technology just for technology's sake, always keeping them up-to-date, other medical facilities need the funding to update, expand and advance their technologies.

While some medical facilities are more advanced than other, patient safety and care should always be the focus. When medical professionals or medical facilities fail to meet this duty, a patient could be harmed or even killed. An patient injured due to medical mistakes or medical negligence might have recourses. A medical malpractice claim could seek to hold the responsible parties liable while also helping the patient pursue compensation for any loses or damages incurred.

Source: Techcrunch.com, "Playing catch-up in hospital innovation," Mandira Singh, June 23, 2016

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