• Analysis of Community Pharmacy Workflow Processes in Preventing Dispensing Errors

      Armstrong, Edward P.; Hoxsie, DeAnna; Keller, Amanda; College of Pharmacy, The University of Arizona (The University of Arizona., 2005)
      Objectives: 1) Determine the compliance rate with 12 dispensing workflow criteria; 2) note if any dispensing errors occurred; and 3) summarize characteristics of the pharmacies studied (pharmacy staffing, dispensing workload, presence of a drive-through window, etc.). Methods: At least fifty out-window (i.e., pharmacy prescription pick up window) transactions per store were observed within 18 community retail pharmacies. Based on the historic pharmacy error incidence reports, pharmacies were categorized as being either high- or low-risk pharmacies. The compliance rates for the dispensing workflow criteria were observed between high- and low-risk pharmacies and also between different employee categories. Employee categories included pharmacists, pharmacy interns, and pharmacy technicians who were involved in the dispensing process. Results: Between August 2004 and January 2005, a total of 950 out-window transactions were observed. There were statistically significant differences seen between high- and low-risk pharmacies and between the various categories of employees. The lack of the verification of patients’ name and number of prescriptions being picked up were procedures that were more commonly associated with pharmacies reported to have high dispensing error rates. Implications: This study identified several areas where the dispensing workflow criteria were not being performed. Based on this study, the lack of the verification of patients’ name and number of prescriptions being picked up were procedures that were more commonly associated with pharmacies reported to have high dispensing error rates.