At any pharmacy, the pharmacy technicians play an important role in running the practice. Pharmacy technicians are responsible for providing an extra layer of safety for the pharmacist. Unfortunately, the pharmacy technician is just as susceptible to committing an error as any other employee at the pharmacy.
4 Potential Times for Pharmacy Technician Error
At what point during the prescription filling process can these errors occur? The following is an overview:
- At the time the prescription is dropped off. If the pharmacy technician fails to obtain critical patient information from each patient, an error may occur. Examples of critical information include the patient’s date of birth, allergies, and medical conditions.
- At the time the order is entered. When a pharmacy technician enters a drug’s name, a risk of error may occur when the drug is new and unfamiliar to the technician. There is also a potential for simple human error when entering information into the computer.
- At the time the prescription is filled or dispensed. Often, errors occur during the time of filling or dispensing of the medication because the pharmacy technician incorrectly reads a label. This is compounded by something known as “confirmation bias.” Confirmation bias is where a person selects what is familiar to them or what they expected to see on the label rather than what is actually there.
- At the point of sale. Pharmacy technicians may also make drug errors at the point of sale. Even if the prescription is filled correctly, it could potentially be dispensed to a person that it was not intended for. The risk becomes higher if the technician does not use a second identifier for the patient picking up the prescription. To reduce the chance of an error, the technician should ask the person picking up the medication for the patient’s address or date of birth and check it against the information on the prescription receipt and vial.
If you were injured by a pharmacy error, we can help. We encourage you to contact us today for a consultation at 888-526-7616.