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In this case, study the main issue found in the HMO pharmacy is the medication error. Although it is found that the pharmacy showed low dispensing errors, the pharmacy needs to improve their distribution systems, which is still very important because a small mistake in medicine dispense can trigger a huge problem, which in turn can trigger a large amount of lawsuits on the company (Andersen, 2006). From researches, it is found that there can be minimum six types of medication error take place in a pharmacy set up. The medication errors may include prescription error, dispensing error, prescribing faults, across setting errors, transcription errors, and administration errors. Among all of these errors, it is observed that dispensing errors are the most common type of errors takes place in the pharmacy.
A dispensing error is recognized as the incongruity between a prescription provided by the doctor and medicines delivered by the pharmacy. The dispensing error may also include the dispensing of the prescribed medicines with informational quality or inferior pharmaceuticals. The dispensing error is called as the quality marker of a pharmacy; therefore, this may also include failure to detect an error of manufacturing before dispensing the medicines as well as the failure of the pharmacy in order to provide sufficient patient counseling (Anacleto et al., 2007).
There are different categories of dispensing errors, such as dispensing medicine with incorrect compound, dispensing medicine in the wrong dose, dispensing wrong medicines, dispensing wrong medicines with wrong levels, etc (Anacleto et al., 2005).
A process map is developed about the process of prescription filling for HMO pharmacy, where specified problems are shown that may be faced by the HMO pharmacy.
Below, the SIPCO (supplier, input, process steps, output, and customer) model is used to analyze the business process of HMO pharmacy. The dispensing error of the company could be find out by using "root-cause analysis" or by conducting a survey of the pharmacists (Fontan et al., 2003). It is found that root-cause analysis is considered as more realistic than other methods as it follows survey among the pharmacists.
Figure: Process Map for filling a Prescription at HMO Pharmacy
Based on the process map and researches about the medication error it can be said that the process can be further divided into other categories, which may include Ordering the medicine, transcribing the prescription, dispensing the medication and administration of the medication (Karande et al., 2005). According to the previous research, error can take place in any of the four steps.
From the previous research, it is noticed that many methods and strategies can be taken by the pharmacies in order to reduce the dispensing error. Many tools could be used in order to collect the data analyze them in order to analyze the business problem. To collect the important data, a direct survey (primary data collection) can be used and analyze the data by the quantitative data analysis (Primary data analysis system) system (Bates, 2000). From researches, I found four strategies, which are important to reduce the dispensing errors.
The first process dispensed can occur for the new patients with specific medication orders, which are not available from “automated dispensing cabinets”. When the missing prescription is again faxed, it is found that the chances of incorrectly filled orders automatically enhanced from 2.2 to 2.4%. The second dispensing process may be an “automated dispensing cabinet fill”. The rate of incorrectly filling order could be reduced by using this process. The third part could be “interdepartmental request fill” (Fortescue et al., 2003). In this case, it is observed that when orders came from hospitals and clinics which are affiliated with the pharmacy the rate of error reduces almost 50%. According to the third strategy, it is found that if a hospital or clinic ventured to implement an automated pharmacy system, then it could also be proved as beneficial in order to reduce the medication error. The pharmacy can use their bar code scanner to avoid medication error. From the last strategy, it can be said that implementation of a fully computerized system in the pharmacy about the drug-drug reaction can set alert to the pharmacists.
From the research, four strategies were found that are helpful to recover the HMO pharmacy from its current position (Bond & Raehl, 2001). To reduce the dispensing errors by this company, the authority can use more than one strategy. However, depending on the collected data from the previous researches it can be said that the pharmacy needs to implement the fully computerized system. The management of HMO can file up each and every prescription from the patients. Besides, the authority can use bar code system in order to decrease the overlapping or misread of the medication names. On the other hand, the pharmacy can improve a little in their distribution system.
Anacleto, T. A., Perini, E., Rosa, M. B., & César, C. C. (2007). Drug-dispensing errors in the hospital pharmacy. Clinics, 62(3), 243-250.
Anacleto, T. A., Perini, E., Rosa, M. B., & César, C. C. (2005). Medication errors and drug-dispensing systems in a hospital pharmacy. Clinics, 60(4), 325-332.
Andersen, S. E. (2006). [Drug dispensing errors]. Ugeskrift for læger,168(48), 4185-4188.
Bates, D. W. (2000). Using information technology to reduce rates of medication errors in hospitals. British Medical Journal, 320(7237), 788.
Bond, C. A., & Raehl, C. L. (2001). Pharmacists' assessment of dispensing errors: risk factors, practice sites, professional functions, and satisfaction.Pharmacotherapy: The Journal of Human Pharmacology and Drug Therapy,21(5), 614-626.
Fontan, J. E., Maneglier, V., Nguyen, V. X., Brion, F., & Loirat, C. (2003). Medication errors in hospital: computerized unit dose drug dispensing system versus ward stock distribution system. Pharmacy World and Science, 25(3), 112-117.
Fortescue, E. B., Kaushal, R., Landrigan, C. P., McKenna, K. J., Clapp, M. D., Federico, F., ... & Bates, D. W. (2003). Prioritizing strategies for preventing medication errors and adverse drug events in pediatric inpatients.Pediatrics, 111(4), 722-729.
Karande, S., Sankhe, P., & Kulkarni, M. (2005). Patterns of prescription and drug dispensing. The Indian Journal of Pediatrics, 72(2), 117-121.
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