Reducing Pharmacy Medication Errors – Pharmacy Consulting

Medication errors are on the rise according to many studies. A study released all the way back in 2006 by The Institute of Medicine stated that medication errors harm at least 1.5 million patients every year. Another study showed that over 400,000 patient injuries take place in hospitals in the US alone due to medication errors. The FDA defines a medication error as “any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or harm to a patient”. Medication errors occur for a variety of reasons. For example, prescription dispensing errors can involve poor handwriting, confusion between drugs with similar names, poor packaging design, and confusion of metric or other dosing units.

Medication errors are a part of every Pharmacist’s life. Everyone can agree that no one is perfect, Yet in today’s society of consumers having more access to drug information than ever before, medication errors are being identified and reported more frequently than ever before. Plus with the advent of social media, the documentation of prescription errors and the negative publicity associated with them are placing pharmacists in the spotlight when medication dispensing errors occur. As pharmacy owners & practitioners, we all need to take a look at this and ensure that best practices are being followed. As the National Institute of Health pointed out:

1. “Errors will always occur in any system, but it is essential to identify causes and attempt to minimize risks.

2. Although it is difficult to quantify precisely the extent of medication errors, they are clearly frequent and often avoidable, representing a major threat to patient safety.”

Then was the last time that your pharmacy took a good look at how it dispenses prescriptions and medications? Are you following “best practices” and limiting the chance for potential medication dispensing errors (and therefore reducing your risks of potential lawsuits and bad publicity)? If the answer is “not lately”, then we strongly advise that you get a qualified Pharmacy Consultant to take an objective look at your policies and procedures! Pharmacy consulting is an area that most pharmacy owners don’t take advantage of until it is too late. Being in the business of Pharmacy consulting for over 25 years now, HCC has been stressing for decades that addressing and preventing issues before they occur is the key to avoiding future problems and bad publicity that pharmacies so frequently encounter these days. With the rise of social media, digital mass media and internet “real-time” news, our advice that the old cliché that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” has never been more relevant.

Healthcare Consultants has been in the business of Pharmacy Consulting for over 25 years now. Known as one of the nations leading full service Pharmacy Staffing companies, HCC is also one of the industry leaders in providing a full range of professional pharmacy consultation services to its vast array of clients. Owned and operated by pharmacists, Healthcare Consultants can provide proven expertise and experience in all facets of pharmacy operations, including retail, hospital and specialty pharmacy venues. If you have questions regarding virtually any area of your pharmacy business or practice, we urge you to contact us today to see how our Pharmacy Consulting services can help. With a full-time staff of in-house Pharmacy Consultant specialists, HCC can answer any questions that you may have in all areas of your business. Call us today at 800-642-1652 for a free consultation.

Bob Miller

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