The Covid-19 pandemic has strained nearly every industry worldwide, however, healthcare workers remain one of the most affected groups by the public health crisis. Pharmacists in particular are especially burdened with extra duties related to vaccination and testing, as well as the staffing shortages and worker burnout that are affecting industries nationwide. Because pharmacists and pharmacy workers are so strained, the risks associated with burnout are real. Strained and stressed out pharmacists and other medical workers are more likely to make mistakes in their work, which may put patients at risk. A recently published news report discusses measures that one pharmacy chain is taking to address the risk of burnout among pharmacists and other employees.
According to the local news report, a major national pharmacy chain is enacting a new policy to close down their pharmacies for a 30-minute lunch break where every pharmacy employee will be given uninterrupted time to themselves to prevent the effects of burnout from affecting their work. According to company sources quoted in the news report, pharmacists and other employees have been complaining about unsustainable levels of stress and the lack of adequate breaks. The company hopes that the new policy will help their workers’ psychological wellbeing while also protecting patients from pharmacy errors.
Can Pharmacists Be Responsible for a Doctor's Prescription Error?
Yes, in some cases, pharmacists can be legally responsible for a mistake that originated with the prescribing physician. Pharmacists and their assistants play an important role in checking of the drugs that were prescribed by a medical provider to a patient are being dispensed properly. Doctors can make mistakes in choosing drugs or dosage amounts, and harmful drug interactions may not be noticed until it is too late. Because of this, it is important for pharmacy employees to be attentive and vigilant in protecting their patients.
Pharmacy employees who are overworked or under-rested could possibly miss an error (or make an independent error of their own) and cause serious harm to a patient. Although the Covid-19 pandemic and the increase in pharmacist responsibilities and burnout can help explain the increased incidents of pharmacy error that we may be seeing, the explanation is not an excuse. Regardless of the reason or excuse, pharmacies can and should be held accountable for any errors that affect their patients.
Answering Questions About a Pharmacy Error Claim
If you or someone you love may have been given a tainted, defective, or incorrect medication, you may have a claim for damages against a medical provider or pharmacy. The Maryland, DC, and Virginia pharmacy malpractice attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen know how to pursue claims against negligent pharmacists, and can obtain significant damages for our clients who have been harmed. Contact us to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys to determine if you have a case. If you have questions about a possible claim, contact us at 800-654-1949 to schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our lawyers today. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our services unless we can recover compensation on your behalf.