With funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Discern Health recently released a report on medication safety in community pharmacy, which includes chain and independent drug stores. The report, which was authored by Discern Senior Advisor and pharmacist Marissa Schlaifer, Vice President Russ Montgomery, and Project Manager Kaitlyn Whiton, explores the extent of the problem, reviews existing initiatives, and provides recommendations for further reducing errors.
While the majority of prescriptions are prescribed, transcribed, dispensed, and administered without errors, billions of prescriptions are filled each year and even a small error rate can have serious consequences to patients. Studies show that a typical community pharmacy in the U.S. has about two clinically significant medication errors every week. State and federal agencies, non-profit organizations, pharmacy associations, and other entities have numerous initiatives in place to reduce the incidence of medication errors.
“Reducing errors in community pharmacy has been a priority of the field for many years, and while progress has been made, there is still room for improvement,” Schlaifer said.
Through research and a series of interviews with experts and key opinion leaders, Discern identified 15 strategic opportunities to build on existing efforts to further reduce errors. These include building the infrastructure to drive increased voluntary error reporting, expanding the evidence base on drug-drug interactions, and allowing pharmacists to be reimbursed for providing medication management and counseling to patients on proper use of their medications.
Montgomery said, “Innovations like e-prescribing are helping to reduce errors, but errors are still harming too many patients and are largely preventable. Our recommendations focus on policy-oriented solutions that can help move the needle.”
The full report is available here.
For more information please contact Russ Montgomery at firstname.lastname@example.org