How to avoid medication errors

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Published: December, 2013

It may be as simple as charting your daily medications and learning their names.

You might be vigilant about watching your diet and exercising. But how careful are you when it comes to following your medication routine? Medication errors at home cause 700,000 emergency department visits and 120,000 hospitalizations every year. "The most frequent errors are taking doses at the wrong time or missing doses. The most serious errors are in dosage, especially when someone is given too high a dose," says internationally renowned patient safety expert Dr. David Bates, a Harvard Medical School professor. So it's crucial to know what you're taking and learn how to track it.

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