The truth is that medication errors occur in pharmacies. As such, many states now have legislation that requires quality improvement programs (CQI) in pharmacies. Recently, Arizona joined Florida, California and other states that already have plans like this in place as the Arizona board of pharmacy is now requiring community pharmacies to implement a quality assurance plan to reduce pharmacy errors. These plans vary by state, but the one thing they have in common is to minimize medication errors in pharmacies.
How will a CQI reduce errors?
Unfortunately mistakes will still occur, but the goal of a CQI program is to focus on quality improvement to help reduce errors from occurring in the first place. By passing a law like this, it requires pharmacies to have a continuous CQI program in place to monitor, by way of charts, graphs and statistics, if the process is working.
Passing a law means nothing unless pharmacies implement the plan into their workflow. This means that every pharmacist and pharmacy technician must understand how to use the system and must be trained and tested so that they record near-misses, medication errors, and all mistakes each time a prescription is filled. This CQI program should help pharmacists and technicians catch their mistakes to reduce the near-misses before a patient ever sees a pharmacy error.
Our pharmacy error lawyers are glad to see Arizona adopt a CQI program, and hope that it helps to reduce the number of prescription errors and near-misses to lead to those errors.