Wednesday, September 10, 2014
We all make mistakes?
This is from a video tutorial on solving equations. It was created and narrated by my 13 year old son's Algebra teacher. Watching her videos is part of his nightly homework assignments.
I think most teachers are a dedicated, hard-working group of underpaid people. Everyone makes mistakes, but I couldn't just let this one go by without making fun of it. I had a lot of teachers in pharmacy school that also made little mistakes here and there, including a chemistry teacher who consistently couldn't figure out the difference between "affect" and "effect."
We're all human and allowed to make mistakes, even doctors, right?
No. The one group not allowed to make a mistake is the pharmacist. We're the last line of defense in patient safety. It's our job to protect the patient and 0% error is expected.
Suppose for a moment that the error rate of your average pharmacist is 0.02%. That's actually a number that's been thrown out there in the past. That means your average pharmacist makes no mistakes 99.98% of the time. That's pretty dang good, right?
Well, further suppose the average pharmacist fills and/or checks 50,000 prescriptions a year. Sounds like a lot? Yes, that's a lot, and that's actually pretty accurate. That means there are 10 prescriptions a year that could be filled incorrectly. Out of that 10, most is just something inconsequential to the patient... but there is always that possibility that there's one or two prescriptions... filled incorrectly, that could cause harm or death to the patient.
Keep that in mind the next time you see your pharmacist. He or she is under a massive amount of stress to help you get better, but more importantly, to keep you alive. Pushing your pharmacist to work faster to get your prescription ready increases that stress and increases the likelihood of mistakes.