Hauppauge, NY, October 28, 2010 --(PR.com
)-- According to the Institute of Medicine, at least 1.5 million preventable drug errors occur every year in U.S. A poll by John Santa, M.D. M.P.H., Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center director, stated that when patients are prescribed new medications, they should ask their primary care provider about the medicine, how it should be taken, its side effects, activities that should be avoided while taking the medicine, and whether there are any specific drug interactions.
October is “Talk About Prescriptions Month,” and the Nurse Practitioner Association of Long Island (NPALI) along with all healthcare takers across the U.S. are working together to reduce prescription drug errors. By discussing the risks of adverse drug effects with a doctor, the potential for prescription drug error could be decreased.
NPALI and healthcare providers state that the best way to prevent medication errors is for patients to actively participate in every decision about their health care. Research proves that patients who are involved in their healthcare experience better outcomes.
When people see their healthcare takers or are treated at a hospital emergency room, the NPALI advises that they:
• provide a list of the prescription and over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements such as vitamins and herbs that they are taking;
• be certain to alert caretakers to allergies and adverse reactions to medicines;
• and make sure that all healthcare professionals have the patient’s vital health information.
The NPALI also advises that patients should ask for information about prescribed medicines in words that they can understand. This entails:
• requesting information when medicines are prescribed and when patients receive them;
• asking for written information about side effects of prescribed medicines;
• making sure that they can read doctor's prescriptions; if they can’t, the pharmacist might not be able to either.
Based in Hauppauge, NY, the Nurse Practitioner Association of Long Island (NPALI) is a chapter of the Nurse Practitioner Association of New York State. NPALI was formed in 1980, and works in concert with the state organization for the purpose of uniting, representing, and advocating for the profession.
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are registered nurses who are prepared, through advanced education and clinical training, to provide a wide range of preventive and acute health care services to individuals of all ages. NPs complete graduate-level education preparation that leads to a master’s degree. NPs take health histories and provide complete physical examinations; diagnose and treat many common acute and chronic problems; interpret laboratory results and X-rays; prescribe and manage medications and other therapies; provide health teaching and supportive counseling with an emphasis on prevention of illness and health maintenance; and refer patients to other health professionals as needed. NPs are authorized to practice across the nation and have prescriptive privileges, of varying degrees, in 49 states. The most recent Health Resources and Services Administration Sample Survey report (2008) shows 158,348 Nurse Practitioners in the United States, an increase of more than 12 percent over 2004 data. The actual number of nurse practitioners in 2006 is estimated to be at least 145,000.