Reducing Pharmacy Error with the iApotheca Platform
Medication error is a grave concern for any pharmacy, particularly given the complexity of the process involved in filling prescriptions safely and accurately. While there are numerous factors that must be taken into account when striving for an error-free environment, the fact is that the onus is on the pharmacist to prevent mistakes by ensuring a well-organized, communicative work area. Unfortunately, reality dictates that sometimes, despite our best efforts things can get out of control, yet when you’re dealing with patient safety even the tiniest lapse can have dire consequences. For most of us, it’s not surprising to learn that studies have found a direct correlation between a high prescription workload and pharmacy error– every pharmacist has, at one time or another, felt the strain of working under extremely demanding conditions, or having to work to maintain focus in a disorganized or distracting environment. What may be surprising is that the opposite conditions have also been found to be detrimental to a pharmacist’s accuracy in certain cases– in some circumstances a lack of prescriptions can also lead to error, particularly if the pharmacist is stressed or fatigued due to overlong shifts or a lack of time off. Given the number of factors that are known to contribute to error– from overworked, stressed and exhausted staff to inefficient workflow, poor communication with either patients or other staff members, difficult physician handwriting and more, it’s vital that a pharmacist remain fully alert at all times. There are, however, several things a pharmacy can do to minimize pharmacy error, starting with ensuring that their pharmacists work reasonable hours, preferably no more than eight hours per shift and 48 hours per week, and allowing pharmacists adequate control over setting and monitoring viable standards within the pharmacy. Tech staffing is also paramount– pharmacy techs should be well-trained and fully capable of supporting the pharmacist, particularly in undertaking the technical steps in the dispensing process in order to allow the pharmacist to focus on more cognitive tasks and thereby enabling two checks during the dispensing process. The iApotheca Pharmaceutical Platform has several modules that case studies have shown to increase effectiveness and significantly reduce pharmacy error. From the iApotheca Compliance kit comes the iApotheca Productions Module, which ensures simple and efficient batch production through a digital tracking process, which includes two independent checks, to the iApotheca MedChanges Module, which has been shown to reduce error by up to 50% in test pharmacies, the platform’s simple and easy-to-understand interface guides pharmacy staff through the process in a clear and methodical manner, thereby helping to reduce human error. The iApotheca Incident Reporting Module is an invaluable tool, enabling pharmacy staff to identify patterns and trends in operational errors in order to develop and implement solid and targeted strategies for reducing error. This module has been shown to reduce error by up to 50% in beta pharmacies. The iApotheca platform also helps to reduce error in a variety of other ways, from supporting staff awareness and communication through simple and easy access to pharmacy policies and procedures to allowing management to track staff time through the iApotheca Punch Clock Module– the iApotheca Pharmacy Platform is a vital tool for any pharmacy working toward reducing error and streamlining operations. For more information on reducing pharmacy error with the iApotheca platform, or to schedule a free demo, contact the iApotheca team today at 1-800-209-6052 or fill out the contact form on our website- we look forward to hearing from you!