How to Avoid Dispensing Errors in Pharmacy

Medicines play a key role in the improving the healthcare of the patients. But, for a positive health outcome, right medications are important for which doctors and pharmacist are responsible.

As a pharmacist, your responsibility lies in dispensing right medicines in right doses to the patients. For this reason, it becomes necessary for you to know about all the medicines and measures to avoid any medication errors. 

Here are some tips to help to avoid dispensing errors and minimise the risk of the unwanted results.

Check all the prescriptions

Whatever prescriptions are given to your pharmacy, you must thoroughly check all of them. If you have other people working with you, you can also involve your one staff in the dispensing process for the final accuracy check. This helps you to confirm the medicines you are providing is exactly the same as prescribed by the doctor. One more important thing, you need to confirm the patient’s identity before handing over the medicines.

Be careful of similar names and packaging

There are different types of medicines with similar type of names and packaging. This can easily contribute in the dispensing errors and even a simple error can be fatal for the patients. In order to avoid this, you need to be aware of the labels and place reminders on the stock bottles. Moreover, if you have staffs, you should also alert them about the commonly confused medicines.

Organised workplace

Have an organised dispensing area and avoid disruptions as much as possible in that area. When do this, it will definitely help to maintain the work flow and reduce the chances of dispensing errors.

Understand abbreviations and units

Misinterpretation of abbreviations of medicine names and units of dosage are one of the most common dispensary mistakes. These mistakes can result in some serious consequences for the patients. Thus, it is important to check and review abbreviations of medicine names or dosage units to detect and prevent any errors.

Confirm correct prescription

If the name of the medicine is not clearly written in the prescription, you can call the doctor who had prescribed to clarify and verify it. Then, only you should dispense the medicines to your patients.

Provide patient counselling

Sometimes, patients also misunderstand directions for the use of medicines. As result, this can adversely affect their health. Therefore, it is best to provide counseling for the patients about the actual medication and instructions to take them.

Since, you are directly dealing with your patient’s health here, do implement these steps in your approach to avoid any dispensing errors. If such errors are already made, report it immediately, learn from those mistakes and make sure not to repeat it in the future.