Saturday, December 18, 2010

CVS Errors-Part 2

Hey All,
This is a blog post I wrote at school. It's long, so please try to bear with me. Thanks!

December 8, 2010, 11:03 AM


Over the many years my family has used CVS Pharmacy; there have been lately an extensive list of errors. These errors range from “shorting”, or not giving us the amount of pills the physician had ordered, to typing dosing instructions wrong, to putting the wrong prescribing physician name on the label.

After speaking to the Region Supervisor, we learned a startling fact: Pharmacists do NOT fill the scripts. The TECHS do that! Even though the protocol is that the on-duty pharmacist(s) are supposed to check and make sure that EVERYTHING i.e. patient name, M.D. name, phone number and address, dose, instructions, and name of medication are all correct, that has obviously NOT been happening with our scripts. Our pharmacy is so busy; the pharmacists probably don’t have time to check, which I find very disturbing

Ironically, the pharmacist that “shorted” one of our medications has been very good to us by offering enough spare medication until the full stock came in, apologizing for “shorting us”, etc.

Granted, errors will happen, but errors in such massive amounts should NOT go uninvestigated and unresolved. Let me give you an example of the possible cause of these errors: Recently, when I went to pick up a medication, there were only TWO on-duty pharmacists filling bottles. I would say that the rate between each bottle being filled, capped, and another one started was about a 1-2 second interval between each fill. I’m not sure what the current CVS slogan is, but it should be “Profits Over Patients”.

Additionally, a technician that my mom knows has revealed that the techs and other pharmacy staff get bonuses and extra hours based on reviews. According to a YouTube video by 20/20 on pharmacy errors, pharmacists are supposed to fill over 100 scripts A SHIFT!

According to the YouTube video, a retired Walgreen’s pharmacist was threatened with his job for taking too much time to ensure script accuracy.

In my mind, a management change needs to occur at the store pharmacy level. The current manager obviously doesn’t monitor either his staff OR the accuracy of each script filled and dispensed.

Some specific errors that my family has encountered at this CVS are: being dispensed the wrong medication, being dispensed medication that was not needed, and most likely other errors that I don’t remember.

One case cited in the video was that of a woman put on a blood thinner. A technician typed the dose for 10 times stronger than the doctor had ordered. According to the attorney for the woman’s family, that technician had NO high school diploma. I also learned this from the YouTube videos: The on-duty pharmacist had no idea of the error until a hearing.

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