How to Avoid Prescription Drug-Related Mistakes in Clinics and Pharmacies

Professionals who work with prescription medication feel intense pressure every day they go to work. Knowing that one mistake can affect a patient’s life and your career can be stressful to a medical professional. But it also means that pharmacies should provide support and work to eliminate situations that may cause mistakes. Here are 3 popular reasons for drug-related mistakes, and how to prevent them.   Reason: Employee Takes Vacation or Gets Sick Often times, when an employee gets sick or decides to take a vacation, it impacts the workflow of the workplace. Suddenly the clinic is short-staffed and double the responsibility falls one person, causing stress and an increased risk of mistakes. However, this does not have to be the case. Solution: Plan Ahead Every workplace works more effectively when there are systems in place to prevent chaos. Asking your employees to work a double shift to make up for an absent employee can backfire and do more harm than good. Instead, have a list of reliable temps at hand, who can fill in for the time that the employee is out of work. If your staff is large enough, have everyone work together to pick up the slack, rather than placing that responsibility on one person. Make sure everyone is clear on what they are responsible for while that employee is away.   Reason: Employee Requests to Work Overtime Family obligations and unforeseen bills make overtime really appealing to pharmacists, but sometimes it’s not the best move. Employees who work 60-70 hour weeks are more prone to making mistakes due to exhaustion and stress. Solution: Limit the Length of Shifts We’re not suggesting that you don’t allow your employees to work overtime. A few extra hours every few days can’t hurt, but working 11-hour shifts every day can take a toll on anyone. It’s important that you limit the number of hours they can work each week, rather than turning a blind eye to a worn-out employee. This way you’re looking out for the health and safety of your patients and employees.   Reason: The Pharmacy is Understaffed Sometimes we feel like placing a few extra responsibilities on our current staff can save us a few extra dollars, rather than hiring a new employee. Although you’re not paying another salary, your employees may start feeling undervalued, which could subconsciously affect their quality of work. Solution: Start Holding Interviews In a fast-paced environment like the medical industry, clinics and pharmacies can’t afford to be understaffed. You may be saving money, by delegating more work to employees, but when mistakes are made involving prescription pills, you may find an expensive lawsuit in your lap. Cutting down on employees to cut costs is not a wise long-term decision; it sets your employees up to make more mistakes and could result in harm to patients. So if your employees are complaining that they’re being stretched too thin, listen to their concerns. It may be time to add a new team member. Sometimes human error cannot be avoided, especially when working in a high-intensity environment. Another major solution to avoiding mistakes made in your clinic or pharmacy is to eliminate the hand-counting method. Using an automatic pill counter removes that risk and ensures your prescriptions are filled with the correct amount of pills. Take the step towards an error free system by trying the Rx-4 Automatic Tablet and Capsule Counter risk-free for 30 days. Contact us or call 949-250-4225 with any questions or to learn more about the...

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How Your Pharmacy or Veterinary Clinics Can Benefit From an Automatic Pill Counter

Regardless of the field we work in, we all have a few gripes!   One of the first places we go to air them is social media. If you’re a pharmacy technician, you’re no different. Some of your colleagues talk about impatient customers, groan about weekend shifts, but many can go on and on about pill counting. Here’s a sample:   And while it is a significant part of the job, there can be risks associated with hand-counting pills, including miscounting medication. Professionals who distribute prescription medication regularly are trained to be meticulous and have systems in place to reduce mistakes. However, sometimes an unfortunate error can occur; we are human after all. An automatic pill counter helps to reduce these mistakes to help avoid lawsuits whether you’re working in a pharmacy or veterinarian clinic. There are even automatic counters that count inventory and even dispense the medication for you, saving you time for other important tasks. Veterinarians Just like the vet has to prescribe the correct dosage of medication for a furry patient, it’s the veterinary technician’s job to count and dispense the correct medication. Each is just as important, and if any detail is misread or miscounted, the consequence can involve a lawsuit, or worse—the death of a patient. Having an automatic pill counter not only eliminates mistakes made from hand counting, it also saves time. This time can be used for more face-to-face time with patients and their owners and can also reduce the hours of over-worked employees. Although long hours aren’t always avoidable in the medical industry, a tired or stressed employee has a greater chance of making a mistake that can severely affect a patient, the practice and their career. Pharmacies We have all heard the jokes—“Pharmacists just count pills all day.” However, that is simply not true. There is so much more work that goes into being a pharmacist than patients know. Pharmacists review and interpret a doctor’s prescription, package and label medication, and even counsel patients on drug therapies. They also train pharmacy technicians, who take prescriptions, help mix medicines, count pills, measure medication, label and provide accurate directions for medication and the list goes on. An automatic pill counter can help free up time for a technician to tend to patients and learn more from the pharmacists. Not to mention, the pill counter reduces mistakes made in the pharmacy. There have been too many pharmacy malpractice lawsuits that result in harm to a patient and grieving families.   The Rx-4 Automatic Tablet & Capsule Counter is the most versatile and economically priced pharmaceutical counter available. With a speed of up to 500 tablets or capsules per minute, it is ideal for counting inventories, filling prescriptions and pre-packaging vials. Try the Rx-4 risk-free for 30 days with our money back guarantee! Contact us or call 959-250-4225 with any questions or to learn more about the Rx-4 Automatic Tablet & Capsule Counter....

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How to Cope With Mistakes Made in the Medical Industry

We’re human, so mistakes are inevitable. But making mistakes in the medical, pharmaceutical and veterinary industries are deemed unacceptable, for legitimate reasons. This is why training for these professions are so hard and require you to be dedicated to your job. But with the pressure of the job and long hours, even the most passionate, dedicated pharmacist or vet can make a calculation error, provide the wrong medication or miscount the correct amount of pills. Due to the severity of these mistakes, the consequences expand beyond losing ones job and even a lawsuit. The guilt alone can cause deep psychological trauma for the professional who caused harm to the patient. In April 2011, Kimberly Hiatt, a Seattle Nurse with 27 years of experience committed suicide after accidentally giving an infant a fatal overdose. When mistakes like this occur, the focus is on the patient, which means the professional is often left to deal with the emotional stress and worry of consequences on their own. It’s important to understand how to recover from these mistakes so it doesn’t severely affect your professional and personal life. Apologize Admitting to a mistake immediately can in most cases allow you to rectify the situation before it spirals out of control. The patient should be made aware of the mistake as soon as possible, followed by an apology. Showing empathy is a vital aspect of any medical profession, especially when a mistake is made. This should not be confused with an admission of wrongdoing. Showing a patient that you are truly sorry for the mistake that was made can make a major difference in how they respond. It also helps you gain a sense of closure and comfort knowing you had a chance to express your regret. Get Support Seeking help through a counselor, support group or a friend can help you come to terms with your mistake. Knowing that your actions hurt someone else can cause internal distress. But expressing your emotions can help you overcome the negative emotions swirling around inside you 24/7. With so many lives in your hands, the stress of making a mistake is too much to handle alone. Take Preventative Measures People dwell too much on the mistake they make and less on the lessons they learn. Once you’ve made a mistake, focus on what you can do in the future to prevent it from happening again. If the mistake was made because a staff member was exhausted due to long hours, propose a new schedule. If you made a hand-counting mistake or provided the wrong prescription, it’s probably time to fine-tune your preventative system. Take control of the error by identifying the weaknesses in yourself as well through mentorship, and professional development. There’s so much at stake in hospitals and pharmacies: the lives of patients, their families, your job, your reputation and your psychological health. These steps should help you cope with the aftermath of your mistake. Learn about one major way you can decrease mistakes made in pharmacies and veterinary clinics.    ...

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Eliminating Pharmaceutical Mistakes Through Effective Systems

In an industry where mistakes are life or death, we see them happening too often in pharmacies. Giving the wrong dose of medication or an incorrect amount of pills to a patient can cause severe consequences—on the patient and pharmacy. Not only can there be legal repercussions for the pharmacy and/or pharmacist but mistakes can cause very serious harm or even death to the patient.   It is essential for every pharmacy to have a standardized system to ensure mistakes like these don’t happen. Mistakes are made in every workplace, but there should be preventative measures that keep the amount of human errors to a minimum in medical industries.   Verification When a pharmacist receives a prescription, each patient’s personal data: full name, birth date, address and phone number should be verified. They should double check that this information is entered into the computer correctly and it matches the information on the prescription. Read the patient’s information back to them, ensuring their information is still correct and hasn’t changed since their last visit.   Pill Selection Be sure each drug is identifiable by a typed label and is spelled correctly for pharmacists selecting drugs. For added security, post a list of drugs with similar sounding names for pharmacists to reference when needed.   Pill Counting Eliminate human counting error by investing in an automatic tablet and capsule counter. Not only does it save time for pharmacists to help more customers throughout the day, but it also helps for an error-free process. We can’t speak for other automatic counters, but the patented gate-flow design of the Rx-4 specifically eliminates the possibility of miscounts. Mistakes can happen due to distractions or even fatigue, but an automatic counter can be a fix to make your system even more effective.   Triple Checking Before handing over your prescription medication, complete one last check to make sure everything is correct. Check everything from the strength of the drug to the dosage. Review the instructions provided by the doctor to make sure they match up and are clear for the patient to read. Before sending a customer off with their medication, ensure that they understand the doctor’s instructions.   Incorporate these guidelines into your system to prevent mistakes from occurring and catch them before the prescription is handed over to a customer.   Take the steps towards an error free system by trying the Rx-4 risk-free for 30 days. Contact us or call 949-250-4225 with any questions or to learn more about the Rx-4 Automatic Tablet and Capsule Counter.    ...

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3 Major Benefits of Switching to Automatic Counters

Hand counting has been established in pharmacies, veterinary clinics, and government applications but what if there was a more efficient way to count pill capsules? A way with no miscounts or re-starts after being interrupted. When you switch to an automatic pill counter, you are saving more than just employee’s time spent counting capsules; you’re saving money and amplifying effectiveness. Cost Effective Hand counting may be cheap, but when compared to the employee’s time that goes into counting, you may find a different answer. In places such as veterinary clinics, it is crucial that animals in need of your help get treatment right away. This puts pill counting off for another time but when it does come time to count specific doses of medicine, is that the best way for employees to spend their time? In today’s fast paced work environment, automatic pill counters enable veterinary clinics to save time and labor costs while accomplishing various counting tasks. Error-Proof While we can only speak for our Rx-4, we can say that it simply will not miscount. When used as described in the Rx-4 Automatic Tablet and Capsule Counter operator’s manual, the patented gate-flow design specifically eliminates the possibility of tablet capsule miscounts. Errors with hand counting can happen often, whether it is from distractions and having to start over again, or basic counting errors. It is common to have hand-counting errors, some that can have worse effects than others. Time Saver Time is of the essence. In various industry applications, time is one resource you can’t get back. So how is time saved when switching to an automatic counter? First, the machine does the work and you can carry on with other tasks, hands-free. Second, no stopping and starting counting due to an error of hand counting or user mistake. Lastly, you won’t have to take the time after counting to dispense specific quantities directly in vials or bottles; the Rx-4 will do that for you too! The Rx-4 Automatic Tablet & Capsule Counter is the most versatile and economically priced pharmaceutical counter available. It counts tablets and capsules of all shapes and sizes quickly and accurately. With a speed of up to 500 tablets or capsules per minute, it is ideal for counting inventories, filling prescriptions and pre-packaging vials. Try the Rx-4 risk-free for 30 days with our money-back guarantee! Contact us or call 949-250-4225 with any questions or to learn more about the Rx-4 Automatic Tablet and Capsule...

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