Pharmacy errors growing more worrisome with heftier workloads

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2021 | Medication Errors

South Carolina residents who are getting treatment in a hospital, medical center or are diagnosed with an issue on an outpatient basis are reliant on their medical professionals to give them the proper care. That often means the doctor and the nursing staff, but there are many others in that chain. Pharmacists are a critical link and are granted an immense level of trust. If there is a pharmacy error, it can cause severe injuries and death. Frequently, people who have been injured or lost a loved one due to pharmacy malpractice will be unaware as to what happened. If there is suspicion that this type of medical malpractice occurred, having a full investigation and guidance with how to proceed is vital.

Pharmacists express concern about hectic schedule and staffing problems

Pharmacists are trusted to do more than simply place pills in a bottle and fill prescriptions. The schooling required to be a pharmacist is extensive and is comparable to that of a medical doctor and nurse. Recently, anecdotes from pharmacists indicate how their heavy workload and limited staff may be impacting their work. Patients could be victimized because of these factors resulting in a mistake. Some note that in the past, there were more people working as pharmacists and support staff; there was time to talk to patients regarding the medication they were prescribed. With stress and extra work, that one-on-one relationship is declining.

Chain drugstores are where many people get their prescriptions. In the last 10 years, pharmacy work has been expedited, heavier and with more responsibilities. The concerns are growing worse with the ongoing pandemic and a significant percentage of people getting their COVID-19 vaccinations at chain drugstores. An investigation shows that some pharmacists work for 12 straight hours and do not even have the chance for anything more than a minimal break, if that. The lack of resources, more and more drugstore chains functioning under one corporate umbrella and wage concerns are limiting the number of pharmacists on the job.

Overwork is cited as a fundamental reason for pharmacy errors. Some are relatively innocuous like putting the wrong number of pills in a bottle to fill a prescription. Others, however, include giving a patient the wrong drugs that could cause an interaction with other medications, be too high a dose or are meant for another person. Because pharmacists are involved in all types of medical care whether that is at a drug store, in a hospital and in specialized treatment facilities, this puts the pieces in place for mistakes and terrible consequences to come about.

Having professional help may determine if a pharmacy mistake occurred

While the complaints from pharmacists might seem to be little more than workplace issues that the industry needs to sort out, patients and their families should be aware of how they can be impacted. If a person was receiving treatment and had an unexpected medical issue or reaction that did not seem to be connected to the problem they were being treated for, it is important to consider the possibility that there was a medication mistake.

Pharmacy malpractice can be the catalyst for allergic reactions, strokes, heart attacks, brain damage and more. People even lose their lives. To have assistance in assessing the case and determining what happened, it may be useful to have professional help. Contacting those with knowledge and understanding of medication and the possibility that pharmacists committed malpractice can be useful in moving forward with a claim.



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