When most hear that a pharmacy error was made, they assume that a busy pharmacist grabbed the wrong prescription, got the dosage information incorrect, or printed the wrong instructions. However, according to a recent industry news report, a large portion of pharmacy errors list information technology as a contributing factor to the error.
As health care technology advances, pharmacies are relying more and more on technology to fill in the gaps where humans are prone to making errors. These areas include patient records, dosage instructions, drug-interaction alerts, and receiving and inputting customer orders. In many cases, technology allows for fewer pharmacists to fill more prescriptions per day, which benefits both the pharmacy owner as well as the patient, who presumably will have reduced wait times.
As the report notes, however, technology is not perfect. According to the report, the most common errors involved the dosage of medication, including omitting the dose, including the wrong dose, or including an extra dose of medication in a patient’s prescription. While many of these errors will be caught before the patient ingests the medication, some of these errors will result in a patient’s injury.