New Study Looks at Error Rates in Hospital Pharmacies

Earlier this month, a study was released in the American Journal of Health Systems Pharmacy that looked at error rates in hospital pharmacies. Specifically, the study considered the link between the number of incoming orders over the course of a given shift and the prescription error rate. Not surprisingly, the results of the study indicated that the busier the pharmacy, the more likely that there would be a pharmacy error made.

The study took place in Houston, Texas, between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012. Over the course of the study, over 1.9 million prescriptions were filled by about 50 pharmacists. In total, there were 92 prescription errors recorded.

Specific Findings of the Study

The study broke down some interesting statistics, including:

  • The rate of prescription errors increased with the total number of prescriptions filled over the course of a shift, with an average error rate of 4.87 errors per 100,000 prescriptions filled;
  • Of the 50 pharmacists who were observed, 31 made at least one error; and
  • The higher the level of education of a pharmacist, the lower their rate of error.

The types of pharmacy errors seen were numerous, but the most common types were duplicate prescriptions, incorrect dosage, and prescribing the medication to a patient who was allergic to the specific medication prescribed.

Ultimately, the researchers determined that there should be more research conducted to determine what level of prescriptions per hour is the threshold where the risk of an error becomes too great.

Pharmacy Errors in Local Maryland Pharmacies

While this study took place in Houston, the same stresses on pharmacists that the staff at the hospital mentioned in the study apply here in Maryland as well. With physicians prescribing more medication today than ever before, the workload in the average pharmacy is ever increasing.

In order to keep costs down, some pharmacies opt to understaff their locations, unnecessarily increasing the risk of a serious or fatal error. In cases where someone was injured because of a pharmacist’s mistake, that pharmacist may be liable to the injured party for any injuries they sustained as a result of the improperly filled prescription. To learn more about pharmacy error cases, contact an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney.

Have You Been Provided the Wrong Medication by a Maryland Pharmacist?

If you or a loved one has recently been provided the wrong prescription by a Maryland pharmacist and suffered harm as a result, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. While compensation is not available in every case, if a pharmacist’s mistake led to a severe illness or death, that pharmacist may be held financially liable for their negligence. To learn more about this kind of lawsuit, and to speak with a dedicated Maryland pharmacy error attorney today, call 410-654-3600 and set up your free consultation. Calling is free, and you will not receive a bill from us unless we are able to recover for you in your case.

More Blog Posts:

Mother Catches Pharmacy Error Before Providing Medication to Her Five-Month-Old Son, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, July 29, 2015.

Causes and Effects of Pharmacy Errors, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, August 14, 2015.

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