What are the steps of medication dispensing? Listed below are the important steps. Pharmacy employees will check a patient’s prescription for accuracy, and electronic prescriptions are accepted and verified before being filled. Pharmacy personnel will also ensure that patients’ prescriptions match their insurance plans. Computerized physician order entry (CPOE) is common for pharmacies, but some pharmacies still manually enter prescriptions.
Double-checking drug names
Pharmacists should practice double-checking drug names in the medication dispensing process. Such errors can be costly to the pharmacy and dangerous for the patient. These mistakes can be prevented by using critical redundancies and independent double checks. Emphasis should be placed on sound-alike or similar-looking drugs and on the need for pharmacists to double-check all prescriptions. It is also important to counsel patients about their medications to ensure the safety of both pharmacists and patients.
Pharmacists should check drug names with the stock and the patient’s ID card during patient interactions. In inpatient pharmacies, double-checking labels is easy, and prescriptions are cross-checked during the dispensing process, so pharmacists should read the transcribed information to patients. Pharmacists should also use auxiliary warning labels on storage bins. Patients can also play an essential role in detecting medication errors.
Pharmacists can also use APIs to improve double checks. These APIs are publicly available and can detect medication selection errors. They can also check previous medication dispensing records, improving patient safety and minimizing medication errors. In addition to this, the API is also very efficient and can be applied to different stages of the medication dispensing workflow. It will help pharmacists focus on patient care and save money. For the time being, pharmacists can devote more time to other tasks.
Periodic stock check
A periodic stock check is a crucial step in the medication dispensing process, and it helps avoid errors arising from omissions, dosage-related errors, and other inconsistencies. Because pharmacists often rely on memory to inform patients of available medicines, they sometimes fail to mention that the stock of a particular drug is low or of a certain strength. The pharmacist may suggest that the patient goes to another pharmacy to purchase the drug during such a scenario.
The pharmacist validates the prescription to ensure the correct information is provided, and the pharmacist must also check to ensure that the prescription is not outdated. A systematic inventory check and using the best system from PharmaLink is the best way to ensure that medication is administered safely.
Translation of prescriptions
Medical translation is a critical step in the medication dispensing process. Sometimes, doctors use specialized medical language or code to communicate their instructions. It can be difficult for a patient to understand the instructions and dosages if the label is not written in their native tongue. It is especially true with e-prescriptions, which allow foreign doctors to send prescriptions in their native languages. When a pharmacy dispenses medication, the pharmacist should open each vial and visually examine each tablet to determine if the medication is correct.
Computerized physician order entry (CPOE)
CPOE allows for the computerized entry of prescriptions by physicians. It accepts orders from various sources, such as a paper-based prescription book or a wireless mobile device. Advanced features of CPOE systems enable clinicians and caregivers to access patient records and analyze trends. The reports generated by a CPOE system can help identify staffing changes or improve the efficiency of the medication dispensing process.
However, the effectiveness of a CPOE system depends on how clinical staff uses it. Errors in the entry may manifest themselves as incorrect information. When clinical staff is multitasking, errors can be magnified. Because CPOE systems are new, there is a learning curve. CPOE training and emphasizing the benefits of the system can help reduce errors.
In addition to reducing the time it takes for the medication to be distributed, CPOE systems also help streamline reimbursements. They can screen for adverse drug interactions and check for any treatment conflicts. CPOE systems have user-friendly interfaces and are compliant with federal and state guidelines.
CPOE reduces errors associated with prescription medication. Studies have shown that CPOE can reduce errors by nearly half, especially at the ordering, transcribing, and administration levels. While CPOE can reduce errors at these stages, errors still occur during medication dispensing and administration. Thus, CPOE has become an essential step in medication dispensing and is critical to the mediation process. CPOE significantly improved the speed of some orders, including those that are typically time-sensitive. For instance, completing a “stat” chest x-ray took just 10 minutes, while the verification of physician orders took more than 60 minutes. Its benefits are numerous and far-reaching.