Pharmacists’ Performance Evaluation Metric Acts Like a “Quota System” to Reward Speed Over Precision

Pharmacies, like other businesses, are operated for profit, and labor is one of the main expenses for a pharmacy. Therefore, a pharmacy that hopes to remain profitable will likely try and provide only enough pharmacists who will be able to fill the prescriptions for the patients who come through the door. Excess pharmacists means the pharmacy is losing money in labor costs.

However, as one recent industry news source points out, the evaluation metric being used by some pharmacies feels a lot like a quota system where pharmacists are pressured into fill prescriptions as quickly as possible. This, of course, could have a detrimental effect on the pharmacist’s accuracy.

Pharmacy Errors Across the Country

Each year, there are an estimated one million medication errors that occur throughout the United States. Of those patients that are provided with an inaccurate medication, about 7,000 will die each year. This makes prescription errors one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the country.

Most of these errors occur, as one might imagine, in the fast-paced environment of a busy pharmacy, where the one or two pharmacist technicians on duty are rapidly working to fill hundreds of prescriptions each day. As the article above discusses, if a pharmacist is evaluated on his or her ability to fill as many prescriptions as possible per hour, it is essentially rewarding sloppy work among pharmacists.

Some suggest that the system is not a “quota system” because it looks backwards rather than forwards, meaning that it doesn’t ask pharmacists to fill a certain number of prescriptions each day. It just looks at how many were filled. However, a savvy pharmacist is likely to know that this is how he or she is being evaluated and will be encouraged – whether explicitly or not – to work as quickly as possible.

While the majority of pharmacy errors will not result in serious injury or death, it is not unheard of that a pharmacy error can cause serious damage or even death in some cases. In these cases, the injured party or their family may look to the pharmacy for answers through a negligence lawsuit. Proving a case against a negligent pharmacist can be difficult, and sometimes experts must testify about the scientific data that a claim relies upon. Therefore, it is critical that anyone considering bringing a claim consult with a dedicated personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

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

If you or a loved one has recently been the victim of a pharmacist error and been seriously injured as a result, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Before trying to figure it out on your own, consult with one of the skilled personal injury advocates at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers. The attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen have decades of experience and hundreds of significant client successes behind them. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation.

More Blog Posts:

New Study Looks at Error Rates in Hospital Pharmacies, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, September 22, 2015.

Pharmacist Mistakenly Provides Chemotherapy Drug to Elderly Patient and Then Tries To Cover Up His Mistake, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, October 7, 2015.

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