• Identifying the Types and Frequencies of Medication Dispensing Errors in Community Pharmacies and their Potential Causation

      Squire, Robert; Felix, Francisco; Mesa, Nathaniel; College of Pharmacy, The University of Arizona (The University of Arizona., 2017)
      Objectives: To explore the available literature for information on the types of medication errors committed in community pharmacies, the rate of occurrence, and potential causation of those errors. Methods: A literature search was conducted in PubMed for articles dating from 1995-present concerning medication errors committed in community pharmacies. A total of eight studies were used in the evaluation. Results: Error types identified in the literature include content errors, labeling errors, near errors, clinically significant errors, and any other deviation from the prescriber's original order. Each study had its own individual error rate. Combining all studies reviewed, the overall average error rate was 2.2% (516 errors out of 23,455 prescriptions total). Proposed causation of medication dispensing errors include low lighting levels, high sound levels, the use of manual prescription inspection alone, pharmacy design, problems with efficiency, the use of drive through pick up windows, errors in communication, high prescription volume, high pharmacist workload, inadequate pharmacy staffing, and the use of dispensing software programs that provide alerts and clinical information. Conclusions: The available literature proposes that medication-dispensing errors in community pharmacies continue to be a frequent issue. Error types include content, labeling, clinically significant, near errors, and any other deviation from the prescriber's original order. Of the observed errors, labeling was most frequent. The data indicated low lighting, amplified noise, and sociotechnical factors could contribute to error frequency. Future studies are required to focus on other potential causes of dispensing errors and how to minimize rate of occurrence.