Learn to Verify Safely
Despite all the time we spend verifying, pharmacists still make errors regularly. A study from the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy found an overall error rate of up to 11.11 errors per 100 shifts. 1 The most common error type was wrong dose or wrong drug. Another study from Baylor University Medical Center found a baseline medication error rate of 111.4 per 1,000 orders. 2
We aren't trained to verify. Pharmacy schools may briefly discuss how prescriptions look in the pharmacy and where to look for errors, but pharmacy school is much more about theory than practice. When you start out in the real world, you would be lucky to verify a few prescriptions under the supervision of an experienced pharmacist before being thrown to the wolves.
So, why isn't verifying prescriptions at work enough training?
As a pharmacist myself, I decided to make the training app I wish I had when I was starting out. I was constantly worrying about whether I was making errors, then falling behind because I didn't have confidence. If I had this app, I would have been a more confident and accurate pharmacist from the start!
- Frequency of and risk factors for medication errors by pharmacists during order verification in a tertiary care medical center. Gorbach et al. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy.
- A baseline study of medication error rates at Baylor University Medical Center in preparation for implementation of a computerized physician order entry system. Seeley et al. Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings.