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Why do medication errors happen at pharmacies?

Medication errors are on the rise, and as a patient, that should be bothersome. If you are injured by medication errors, know that the medical community is aware of the problem, but not as much has been done about it as could be. Are there really ways to reduce the number of injuries due to these mistakes? Yes, and they should be implemented.

What causes medication errors in a pharmacy?

A September 2015 report indicated that the number of medication errors increased in pharmacies based on the number of verifications a pharmacist had to do per shift. If a pharmacist was asked to do more than 400, then the number of risks rose.

Out of the 50 pharmacists who were observed, 31 of them had at least one medication error during the study, which lasted a year. What should they be doing? Focusing more on patient safety and less on quantity.

What are some ways to reduce the number of pharmacy errors?

One way to combat this issue is actually to reduce the number of prescriptions being given to a patient. Does every patient need to be on a medication for a cold or minor flu? Probably not. Just like every patient doesn't need an opiate to treat minor or moderate pain. Limiting the number of medications patients receive can mean the pharmacist has more time to concentrate and will be able to make sure the medications the patients do receive work correctly for their conditions.

Having two pharmacists or assists review the pills and documents with them before giving them to the patients may help as well. If the patient has time, having the patient look at the drugs to make sure they look accurate is also beneficial and may prevent the patient from leaving with the wrong pill.

Source: Heavy, "Medication Errors on the Rise: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know," Larry Alton, accessed June 09, 2016

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