Publisher's blog: Minimizing Rx errors in your practice setting

Minimizing Rx errors in your practice setting

Welcome to the first Drug Topics publisher's blog, As a pharmacist and publisher of Drug Topics, I thought it might be a good idea to start a blog that would allow my colleagues to sound off on a variety of topics, some which I will put out there for you to comment on and others I will ask all of you to suggest. I think it will be a good way to get different perspectives from our colleagues.

The first topic for my blog is about drug errors.

  • I am curious to get your thoughts about how all the interruptions and distractions during your workday can promote drug errors. How do you handle these situations and what advice would you offer your colleagues?
  • The media frequently focus on the negative and sensationalize drug errors, as ABC's "20/20" did recently. But I am interested in the positive side of the equation, where pharmacists are preventing errors before they leave the pharmacy. On average, how many times in a day or week have you intervened or prevented a mistake from occurring?
  • In answering the question above, please try to separate your comments into these three areas:
  • Dispensing errors
  • Prescribing mistakes by doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants (over dosing, drug interactions, etc.)
  • Patients' mistakes (over OTCs, supplements, Rx imports, etc.)
  • One last topic, please comment on what you believe is the biggest cause of the three types of mistakes listed above. My gut tells me that the number of errors prevented clearly overshadows the number of errors that leave the pharmacy each day. Thanks for participating. Your responses will be posted on this blog site. If you have a topic you would like us to put out for comment, please include it in your blog or e-mail me at