Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Fruits of Being Overworked and Understaffed

Recently I received a call from a hospital wanting to cancel a prescription they faxed in. And rightly so... it was written for Levaquin 750mg # 30, one tablet by mouth three times daily.

The actual script was to be supposed to be ONE daily for 10 days. The prescriber at the hospital screwed up and someone caught it over there.

Fortunately the medication wasn't dispensed yet. I went to the will call and sure enough, there it was filled and ready for pick up. It wasn't filled by me or Mickey. It was filled by a floater tech and floater pharmacist, probably during an incredibly busy time when things like this can slip by. 

Even with our long chain of safeguards, every now and then a huge mistake slips right on through. When a pharmacy is understaffed and the staff is overworked, THAT is when bad things happen. Goofmart corporate doesn't give a damn. They expect us to just deal with it and be perfect.

I've made mistakes over the years, none of which has been anything that's been a big deal. With almost all mistakes it's been caught before it ever gets in the hands of the patient. The other situations didn't cause anything even remotely serious.

But I wonder, will someday a perfect storm of events take place that causes harm to a patient? Will I be the last link in the chain of protection for the patient that fails? Will I be the reason someone gets hurt?

And that keeps me up at night.


Anonymous said...

I literally developed OCD due to the stress of Retail after a mistake slipped through. You are not alone

jennifer said...

Thank you for thinking about it. I just have to share that during one trip to the ER, I had IV Vanc ordered due to my allergy to Bactrim. When the nurse brought it in the hang, it looked strange to me as it was in a 500cc bag versus the standard 250cc bag. Sure enough, it was IV Bactrim. I have anaphylaxis to Bactrim. If I hadn't questioned the nurse and asked to see the bag, I'd likely be dead. To this day, it astonishes me that such an error made it past the doc who ordered it, the pharmacist who filled/checked it and the nurse who attempted to hang it.

Thank you for taking the time to perform due diligence on behalf of your patient's lives.