Over the past few years, local Maryland pharmacies have seen a gradual increase in the number of prescriptions that are filled each year. However, pharmacies have been slow to adjust the number of pharmacists with this increase in demand. As a result, pharmacists are dealing with increased workloads.
For quite some time, experts have agreed that as a pharmacist’s workload increases, the likelihood of an error also increases. Some believe that new technology can help pharmacists more accurately and quickly fill prescriptions. According to a recent industry news report, by using state-of-the-art technology to fill orders, pharmacists can free up nearly 90 minutes per day.
Generally, when appropriate technology is used to fill prescriptions, there seems to be a reduction in the error rate. However, some skeptics point to the learning curve that implementing new technology presents, raising a concern that patient safety may be jeopardized as pharmacists get accustomed to frequent changes in the workplace.
As noted above, as pharmacies begin to integrate new automated programs to assist in the dispensing and ordering of medication, pharmacists should find themselves with more free time. At least in theory; however, whether that is the case remains to be seen. Pharmacists still routinely cite heavy workloads as a leading contributor to pharmacy errors. Thus, while technology may be a partial solution, it does not seem to be the cure.
As medical professionals, pharmacists have a duty to the patients they serve. This duty requires pharmacists to accurately fill all prescriptions and provide accurate advice when discussing medication interactions with patients. However, not all pharmacy errors are caused solely by pharmacist negligence. This will especially be the case as new technology reduces the amount of discretion a pharmacist can exercise when filling a prescription.
For example, if a patient is given the wrong medication as a result of a problem with automated dispensing technology, the company that developed or sold the technology may be a potentially liable party. Thus, as automated technology is implemented in pharmacies across the country, liability for pharmacy errors may be extended beyond the walls of the pharmacy. Of course, the pharmacists will remain responsible for ensuring that patients obtain the correct medication, and should catch any errors by double-checking prescriptions before they are provided to patients.
Have You Been the Victim of a Maryland Pharmacy Error?
If you or a loved one has recently been the victim of a Maryland personal injury accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for the injuries you have sustained. At the Maryland pharmacy error law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, we have over 20 years of experience assisting the victims of Maryland pharmacy errors pursue claims for fair compensation based on the injuries they have sustained. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we provide free consultations to all prospective clients in which we will discuss how we can help you file a claim against the parties responsible for your injuries. To learn more, call 410-654-3600 to schedule your free consultation today. You can also contact us through our online form.