Whenever a pharmacist is filling a prescription, if there is the potential that the medication they are providing to a patient may have an adverse interaction with another medication, should be taken with specific instructions, or is otherwise potentially dangerous, an alert will pop up on the pharmacist’s screen. However, given that most medications are dangerous under some circumstances, and pharmacists can fill hundreds of prescriptions a day, theses alerts tend to bog a busy pharmacist down.
According to a recent industry report, alert fatigue occurs when a pharmacist is so accustomed to seeing an alert pop up that they almost automatically disregard the alert as unimportant. Reasons for dismissing the error vary, but the end result is the same. The patient ends up taking the prescription home and consuming it, leading to a potentially disastrous situation. As one can imagine, alert fatigue is the cause of a substantial number of pharmacy errors, since pharmacists are substituting their own on-the-fly judgment for the tried and true research of medical professionals.
What Can Be Done About Alert Fatigue?
Given that alert fatigue is a real problem in pharmacies across the United States, there has been a concerted effort by some in the industry to address the issue. One potential solution, according to the article discussed above, is the implementation of software that provides more accurate, more specific, and more targeted alerts. These new programs may also provide a “threat-level” for the pharmacists, so they are able to tell how serious an alert really is.
These types of programs are a long way from being considered the norm in retail pharmacies. However, it does show what the next step may be towards a safer and more reliable system of pharmacies.
Pharmacy Errors in Maryland
Despite the best of intentions on the part of pharmacists and their technicians, sometimes pharmacy errors occur, and often with tragic results. In fact, some sources estimate that there are approximately 7,000 deaths annually caused by pharmacy errors. When these kinds of errors do occur, the injured party and their family may be entitled to monetary damages. To learn more about pharmacy error cases in Maryland and across the United States, contact a dedicated pharmacy error attorney today.
Have You Been the Victim of a Pharmacy Error?
If you or a loved one has recently been the victim of a pharmacy error, you may be entitled to monetary damages. Successful plaintiffs may receive compensation for past medical bills, future medical expenses, and any pain and suffering that was a result of the pharmacy’s error. Family members of those who have died as a result of a pharmacy error may also be eligible for compensation, depending on the surrounding circumstances. To learn more, call 410-654-3600 to set up a free consultation with an attorney from the Maryland personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen today.
More Blog Posts:
Five Dangerous Drug Combinations That Can Cause More Harm Than Good, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, June 1, 2015.
Medical Journal Recommends Physicians and Pharmacists Convert Completely to the Metric System to Avoid Medication Errors, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, May 4, 2015.