Iâ€™ve had a couple of eye opening conversations over the last week that have me concerned about the thought process surrounding pharmacy technology, where weâ€™re going with it and what itâ€™s supposed to do for us.
Rule #1: â€œThatâ€™s what the computer told me to doâ€ simply isnâ€™t justification for doing something that makes no sense. Computers are dumb. They do what we tell them, albeit very well, but they donâ€™t think independently from the human operating them. Itâ€™s ok to question the decision made by technology if it doesnâ€™t make sense clinically or logically. Drug errors occur for many reasons. And as humans we make mistakes and healthcare professionals are not exempt. Technology can be used as an additional barrier between a potential mistake and the patient; however pharmacists and nurses should not decrease their vigilance at any point in the medication distribution and administration process secondary to new technology.
Rule #2: technology implementation should not complicate your process. A complicated process is one that is destined to lead to frustration and create opportunities for mistake. Take advantage of technology to streamline a process. Create a better workflow, not a more cumbersome one.
I think the two things mentioned above are simple common sense, but somehow they get overlooked all the time. Just a thought.