It is a widely held belief that doctors generally know best — this mentality can extend to the pharmacy industry, as well. After all, one of the primary duties of medical professionals is to ensure wellbeing and good health for all Texans. Even with the comfort of expertise, are doctors and pharmacists as reliable as patients would like to believe?
One major area that has sparked controversy is the accuracy of prescriptions and other medical direction. There is much speculation on the topic of medication errors, but the state of Texas seeks to eliminate these errors by getting to the root of the problem itself. Furthermore, the stigma about patient irresponsibility regarding medication errors may prove to be false.
U.S. News uses data from the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy to show that 1 to 5 percent of prescriptions filled in pharmacies across the nation involve error of some kind. The most common? The university states that prescription labels with faulty directions are most typical. In addition to this common mix-up, there are certain drugs that are easily mistaken for one another, drugs with interactions that pharmacists miss and medications going to the wrong customers. Open communication could be one solution to this potentially dangerous problem, but U.S. News encourages readers to take advantage of free pharmacy counseling and to always report incidents, especially if they cause harm. By documenting errors, patients can have accurate records and pharmacists can work to better prevent the problem in the future.
The Texas State Board of Pharmacy has connected with the Texas Board of Nurse Examiners to develop the best ways to prevent medication errors. Contrary to what many might assume, most prescription errors are not the result of individual recklessness. Instead, the boards point toward flaws in the health systems themselves. To best prevent future errors, the boards have agreed that it is crucial for professionals to stay updated on advancements in the field, to only accept assignments for which they are qualified, promote team work and instill creative and innovative thinking. It is unlikely that these approaches will eliminate all medication errors, but they can potentially reduce the chances of unhealthy — and potentially harmful — situations.