Picture this: You’ve recently visited your health-care provider and have been prescribed medication. You go to your local pharmacy, pick up your prescribed medication and go home. Upon opening your bag at home, you discover that you’ve been given an incorrect medication. Fortunately, you’ve identified this error prior to taking the medication.
Based on study chartered by the Institute for Safe Medication Practice, this type of error happens frequently — at an estimated rate of 1.22 events per 1,000 prescriptions.
With approximately 56,000 community pharmacies in the United States, this error rate suggests that 332,755 incorrect prescriptions will be dispensed each month, or about 6 every month per pharmacy.
These errors, which include but are not limited to incorrect patient, dose, or strength, can have disastrous effects.
One of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent these errors is to open the bag of filled prescriptions prior to leaving the pharmacy window.
Here, a patient can verify the correct medications are in hand and, if needed, notify the pharmacist to quickly remedy any discrepancy.
With this simple step, the risk of error is reduced by 56 percent.
The 75th Medical Group urges all patients, regardless of the pharmacy they visit, to check their medication prior to leaving the pharmacy window. This simple step may save your life or the life of a loved one.
For more information, contact the 75th Medical Group patient safety manager, Steven Small, at 801-586-0570.