Who Suffers When Pharmacists Have Heavy Workloads?

Posted by: DFX on Feb 25, 2017

pills-1190217_640Pharmacists across the country are seeing a heavier workload without the extra staff to pick up the slack. It can be easy to assume that this is no one’s problem but those pharmacists, but according to one recent study, we could all suffer when a pharmacist has numerous orders to fill.

The study had a startling conclusion

The study in question was completed by the American Journal of Health-Systems Pharmacy and included medical professionals from the Houston Methodist Hospital and the University of Houston College of Pharmacy. Together these groups looked at pharmacy errors that covered a one-year period from July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012.

In that period of time, there were just over 90 medication errors happened while the order was being verified, out of almost 2 million medication orders that were handled by more than 50 pharmacists. The study found that there is a correlation between how many orders a pharmacist was verifying per shift and how many errors there were during that time.

Specifically, the study found that there was an error rate of just under 4.9 for every 100,000 orders that were verified. However, when a pharmacist had to order more than 400 order in a shift, the likelihood that they’d make an error went up significantly.

Other factors affect error rates

It’s likely not surprising to learn that when a pharmacist had more experience at a particular medical facility, their error rate was lower than a new pharmacist. Likewise, those pharmacists that had Doctors of Pharmacy had a lower error rate compared to those with a Bachelor of Science degree. The study ran a year and in that year 31 out of the 50 pharmacists did make one or more mistake on a medication.

Have you been the victim of a medication accident?

Many people have no idea how many errors are made with medications every year. At Gilbert and Smallman, we believe that the error rate in Florida is much too high. That’s why we work on pharmacy and medication malpractice cases.

If you or someone you’re close to was injured as the result of a mistake with medication, then you may be entitled to compensation. Your next move should be to give us a call for your free case evaluation. We’ll listen to your situation and advise you on whether or not you have a case. Call today and begin the process.