Can a Pharmacy’s Overreliance on Technology Put Maryland Patients at Risk?

As the population increases, more people are filling prescriptions. This results in an increased burden on Maryland pharmacists. Indeed, many experts believe that this increased workload is the leading cause of pharmacy errors. To help pharmacists efficiently fill prescriptions, many pharmacies rely heavily on technology, including e-prescribing, electronic databases, and software designed to bring pharmacist’s attention to potential adverse interactions.

For the most part, technology makes it possible for pharmacists to do their job. However, there is a concern that an overreliance on technology may put patients in jeopardy. According to a recent news report, all patient records were inadvertently deleted after an IT error at a university pharmacy. Evidently, the lost data included prescription and refill history and insurance information for all customers. Pharmacy staff estimate that the affected number of patients is somewhere around 50,000.

As a result of the error, the pharmacy’s databases must all be rebuilt. This requires pharmacists manually enter in all patient data, including insurance information and prescription history. Patients are being asked to call their physician and have them reorder all necessary prescriptions. For now, there have not been any reported pharmacy errors that have occurred as a result of the loss of patient data.

When Are Pharmacist’s Liable for Errors?

Pharmacists are medical professionals like doctors or nurses, and as a result, have a similar duty to their patients. When a pharmacist relies on technology to help them efficiently carry out their responsibilities, to some degree, the pharmacist bears responsibility. Technology should be used to assist a pharmacist, but cannot replace the skill and common sense that the job requires.

When someone is injured as a result of a Maryland pharmacy error, they are entitled to pursue a claim for compensation. Often, proving that a mistake was made is not difficult because pharmacies are required to keep detailed records. However, establishing causation is more complicated.

Causation refers to the determination as to whether the pharmacist’s error was the legal cause of the patient’s injuries. While this may sound simple in theory, in practice, proving causation often requires expert witnesses to explain how an error resulted in a patient’s injuries. Likely, the pharmacy will also present an expert witness on their behalf, making the process of selecting a qualified, convincing expert especially important.

Have You Been the Victim of a Pharmacist’s Negligence?

If you or a loved one has recently been the victim of a Maryland pharmacy error, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. At the Maryland pharmacy error law firm, Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, we understand the importance of expert witnesses in this area of law, and work closely with an extensive network of expert witnesses nationwide to help prove our clients’ cases. Our dedicated team of personal injury lawyers aggressively pursue fair settlement offers for our clients, and will not hesitate to take your case to trial if the other side is unwilling to make a reasonable offer. To learn more about how we can help you with your situation, call 410-654-3600 today.

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