Pharmacists fill large numbers of prescriptions every day. And although most of the time they do it with 100 percent accuracy, there are times when a mistake will be made, and a customer will get the wrong medication.
Here are a few tips on the steps to take if this happens.
Find out what happened
The first thing to do is find out if the person has taken any of the medication and if there have been any problematic side effects. Even if the patient appears to be fine, contact their healthcare provider and fill them in on all the details of what happened. It’s also necessary at this point to get in touch with a drug information center for any help that they can provide.
Then talk things over with the patient. Find out what their concerns are and what they would like you to do and answer any questions they may have. If the person wants to file a complaint about the incident, give them information about the appropriate organizations to contact.
Express your regret
Apologize for the error. Explain to the patient that you can understand their agitation in this situation and that you are concerned first and foremost about their well-being and getting the matter straightened out.
Examine the drug
Look carefully at the label on the drug. This may help you to find out what went wrong when dispensing it. Also, keep the container in a safe place so that you have it for reference if you need it in the future.
Find out why it happened
The final step is to investigate the situation to find out what went wrong. One of the best ways to conduct an investigation of this kind is by doing a causal analysis. Using this method, trace back the chain of events using a cause-and-effect analysis until you are able to reach the initial conditions that created the problem. Then put together some plan to address the root cause of the problem so the same mistake doesn’t happen again.
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