Thursday, March 24, 2016

Pharmacy Hack to Make your Life EASIER

Many pharmacies place an X on opened bottles of medication. This is necessary to keep others from labeling up an open bottle as a sealed bottle when it really isn't. I can't tell you how many people have called after getting home and finding out that their bottle of Nexium was open and capsules were missing. Argh!

But if you're like me, you grow weary of marking every new bottle you open with an X. Weary as in SICK to DEATH of it. It takes time, seconds actually, and ain't nobody got time fo dat!

Make your life easier. Keep the easy open bottle caps and put an X on the top. Then move the cap to newly opened bottles! No more X'ing bottles! No more wasting time and getting Sharpie on your hands! No more confusion with open bottles versus sealed bottles. No more cats and dogs living together. Chaos, be ye therefore no more... get out!



Anonymous said...

How about: don't put a label on a manufacturer's bottle in the first place, unless it's a bottle of 500 metformins or something like that. Put the tabs/caps in a prescription bottle and put the label on that. Then you don't have to worry about this happening, and none of your patients will wonder why their rx takes so long, when "all you have to do is slap a label on a bottle!"

Unknown said...

Not utilizing unit-of-use bottles when available and transferring the medication into a tradition amber vial is a monumental waste of resources. Stay on the side of the counter you know something about...and I'll bet you don't know as much as you think you do about that side either.

Anonymous said...

Unless you have, maybe, 6 stock bottles for one prescription. Especially with older patients, it is better to put it all in one amber vial, that way the patient has less of a chance of losing one and blames the pharmacy for not giving them enough in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pillboy, no need to attack me. My comment was addressing the issue raised in the column. I have been a community pharmacist for 25 years. I don't use unit-of-use bottles (other than for indivisible quantities such as for eye drops) for several reasons:
First, because people do think "Well, all they did was slap a label on a bottle. Why did that take so long?"
Second, many unit-of-use bottles do not have child-proof (hah!) lids, and the incidence of child poisonings in North America has dropped drastically with the introduction of safety caps.
Third, opening and actually counting the tablets out can reduce the risk of errors with look-alike/sound-alike drug names & bottle appearance, both in the pharmacy and at home.
Fourth, it gives us the opportunity to spot if there is something wrong with the tabs inside the bottle, and we can't blame everything on the manufacturer, can we? AND, we can remove the dessicant, which (even though labelled "Do not eat") still occasionally gets eaten.
Fifth, the prescriptions we dispense have a consistency of packaging that adds to pharmacy's reputation for attention to detail.
Sixth, as a large-volume pharmacy, we order and stock most commom products in bottles of 500 or 1000 tabs/caps, while most prescriptions may involve a much smaller quantity.
So, you may feel it's a monumental waste of resources, but I and most of my colleagues do not

Anonymous said...

Ive just made it a policy to always check that the seal is intact before it gets shelved, and whoever is selling the medication at the window needs to check it as well. Its the same as checking the name on the label of each bottle before you bag it- one second of effort will save you hours of trouble.
as for "X" I dont use and x, I use a single line from upper right to lower left. Fast, easy, and much harder to block out the NDC or drug strength or something, but still obvious to the person who glances at the bottle

Anonymous said...

While we do "x" bottles, it is mostly for inventory purposes. If my tech labels a stock bottle, the lid must be removed and placed in the basket separately. Hard to not notice loose pills rolling around in the basket after the seal has been broken. Although a previous pharmacist has commented why not to dispense in stock bottles there are still plenty of reasons to do it.

1-If your patients still think you are just slapping labels on bottles, go talk to them! I can't tell you how many people tell me over and over "I had no idea that's what a pharmacist did!" Our profession is terrible about sticking up for ourselves.
2-Got me on child proof lids, no way around that safety feature. It's either there or repackaged.
3-Look alike sound alike drugs can be better screened using barcode technology than visual scans.
4-Let's face it, if you eat the desiccant it's on you. Do these people eat plastic spoons because they came with their prepackaged food? The liability has limits. And yes, we depend on manufacturers making a quality product and assist patients to correct problems with manufacturers when they don't.
5-The uniform look all of the pharmacy bottles give actually make it more difficult for patients to sift through multiple prescriptions.
6-Large volumes you say? Why do you think Wally World uses prepackaged unit dose for many of their $4 scripts? While it may be
cheaper per pill in a 500 count bottle, if it is reasonable close in cost, you are spending more on tech time plus bottles than you get in savings.

I am in NO way attacking anyone, just opening up the discussion to other views.