Here at Talyst, we believe the Pharmacist is a key contributor on the medical team. As healthcare undergoes a dramatic transformation in the next decade, I believe this will become more apparent and significant in our industry. Even now, the pharmacist’s role is drastically changing.
Pharmacists are expected to collaborate with doctors before giving patients prescriptions, ensuring the right medication gets to the right patient, at the right time and in the right dose. Many states even have approved legislation to give pharmacists the ability to prescribe medications as well as dispense them.
A recent Drug Topics article, Keys to Minimizing Prescription Drug Errors, By Dr. Cindy Nguyen cites “according to the FDA, medication errors harm 1.3 million individuals each year and kill at least one person a day. Health care costs from medication errors in the U.S. are estimated to be $21 billion dollars per year.”
The article goes on to share some key areas of focus to reduce drug errors: “Adequate pharmacist staffing is key to minimizing errors. Nearly half of the pharmacists from all health care settings reported that they “had so much work to do that everything cannot be done well” in a 2014 National Pharmacists Workforce Survey”
Working closely with pharmacists, I understand their overworked schedules. Pharmacies receive thousands of medication requests a day and it’s overwhelming. It’s difficult for pharmacists to become key contributors on the medical team when they are unable to find the time.
It has been proven when a pharmacist provides consultations they can improve patient medication adherence and health outcomes; however, Drug Topics reports a “survey by the Enforcement and Compounding Committee by the California Board of Pharmacy found that about 85% of the pharmacists indicated “workload too high” and 73% cited “insufficient staffing” as barriers to consultations.”
This is where automation technology plays an important role.
Dr. Nguyen provides the following recommendations as key for preventing medication errors, “…incorporating technology to restructure the work environment, and conducting prospective drug utilization review…technology, such as bar-coding and electronic patient records.. a check-and-balance system within the pharmacy that improves efficiency and reduces distractions.”
Our mission at Talyst is simple but powerful. We are committed to…
Improving healthcare with innovative medication management systems, software, and services to help caregivers serve patients
We believe our automation technology can free up pharmacists to provide valuable clinical services. Pharmacists can collaborate with the medical team to guarantee that patients are given the right treatments and reduce medication errors.
Does your pharmacy use automation technology? How is it helping you reduce medication errors and increase patient safety? I’d love for you to share your thoughts.