The impact of prescription time guarantees on patient safety

I came across an interesting article at the ISMP website this morning. The article details the results of a community pharmacy survey looking at what impact policies and procedures related to guaranteed prescription fill times have on medication errors. The results are predictable and scary.

“Eighty-three percent of pharmacists working at pharmacies with advertised time guarantees reported that the time guarantee was a contributing factor to dispensing errors; almost half of them (49%) felt this contributing factor was significant. In fact, 44% of pharmacists working in pharmacies with time guarantees reported a dispensing error they were personally involved in, which was directly attributed to rushing to fulfill the time guarantee.”

That right there is reason enough to not allow time guarantees when it come to filling a scripts.

Read the rest of the article, especially the table of pharmacists’ perspective on time guarantees. It’s worth a few minutes of your time.

Afterthought: Why do pharmacists continue to work in this environment? Do they like the work most of the time, and only hate it some of the time? I used to know a few pharmacists that worked in the retail sector of pharmacy, but they’ve all moved on. A couple went to work for PBM’s and two abandoned the profession altogether: one left pharmacy to become an accountant – he’s much happier these days – and another one just quit. I don’t know what she’s up to these days, but the last time we spoke she was dabbling in interior design.

2 thoughts on “The impact of prescription time guarantees on patient safety”

  1. Why do pharmacists continue to work in this environment?

    The answer to almost every question about why we do things against our better judgment usually boils down to the lowest common denominator – money.

    Either that or – sex.

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