Not Having Primary Care Physician Can Lead to Medication Errors

t uncommon anymore for people to go without a primary care physician or physician’s group to coordinate care. It can be difficult to find a good doctor after moving or changing jobs and health insurance plans. But Medscape.com reports a new study shows patients without coordinated medical care are more likely to suffer from
medication errors and treatment issues.
The international study will appear in July’s issue of the International Journal of Clinical Practice and was conducted using information from 11,910 people in seven nations. Of these, 11% reported they had experienced a medication mistake or medical error in the previous 2 years. Data indicated that those with poorly coordinated care are anywhere from 110% to 200% more likely to experience an error.

Young people 18-29 reported suffering from more mistakes than those 65 and older. While the study does not speculate why, it is possible that a lack of cohesive medical care is at least in part responsible.

The study concludes that the major challenge for error prevention is better communication between providers. Electronic Medical Records systems are one way providers are attempting to improve communications. But as discussed in this blog, they are not a magic solution to all prescription errors. Pharmacy mistakes and others may still occur.