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Medication errors affected by pharmacist workload

Of all the people who are involved in a patient's care during a hospital stay in Texas, perhaps one of the most overlooked is the pharmacist. However, pharmacists fulfill many different roles. In addition to filling prescriptions, they must also counsel patients, interact with insurers as well as complete other job responsibilities. Unfortunately, a recent study appears to show that as a pharmacist's workload increases, so does the number of medication errors made.

The study was published by the American Journal of Health-Systems Pharmacy. Researchers looked at 50 pharmacists at a large medical care facility. The authors of the study examined over 1.9 million prescriptions filled over the course of a year, from July 2011 to June 2012.

During the year, 31 pharmacists made a medication error. Ninety-two total mistakes were made, constituting approximately 4.87 errors for every 100,000 prescriptions filled. The study found that the more prescriptions a pharmacist filled, the more mistakes that he or she made.

Unfortunately, even simple medication errors can have devastating consequences. If a person is given a drug to which he or she is allergic or given a medication that exacerbates a previous condition or interacts with other medication in a negative way, he or she can suffer long term consequences. In fact, some errors have ultimately led to death. Those in Texas who were injured or lost a loved one due to such negligence have legal options available to them. A successfully presented medical malpractice lawsuit could result in recompense, allowing victims to cope with the financial consequences of another's mistakes. Consultation service from the Maloney Team is free. Contact us today to get started.

Source: drugtopics.modernmedicine.com, "Pharmacist error rate rises as workload climbs", Christine Blank, Sept. 11, 2015

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