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Pharmacy technicians work to prevent errors with medications

On Behalf of | Aug 18, 2020 | Medical Malpractice

The crucial role pharmacy technicians play at helping to prevent patients from receiving the wrong medication is only expected to grow in the future. This fact is good news for patients under a doctor’s care in Alabama.

Pharmacy technicians’ role in primary care

A spokesperson for the National Pharmacy Technician Association expressed optimism that pharmacy technicians could help decrease the harmful medication errors that happen 3.8 million times each year for patients in inpatient settings. These errors occur with outpatients 3.3 million times annually. Thirty-seven percent of these errors involve dosing, and cost medical facilities more than $20 billion each year.

The Network of Health Innovation identifies the lack of communication between physicians and pharmacists as a major cause of these prescription errors. The network says 13% of the physicians who change a patient’s prescription report the change, and only 4% of physicians say they possess access to fully functional electronic medical records systems that include a function for prescriptions.

Following patients’ rights

Pharmacy technicians are now often the first line of defense against medication errors. The position technicians play in the medical system affords them the opportunity to identify errors and address them before any harm comes to the patient. Technicians use the five patient “rights” system to help them with this goal:

  • Verify patient identity
  • Ensure the medication matches the prescription
  • Ensure the dosage matches the description
  • Ensure the right route is used for delivery
  • Verify it is time for medication

Mistakes in the prescribing and delivery of medication can result in devastating consequences for a patient. Individuals who feel they have suffered due to medical malpractice medication errors may find it useful to speak with a personal injury attorney.