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Medication Errors May Be Due to Overworked Pharmacists

Limited resources and the high demand associated with COVID-19 are pushing pharmacists to their limits. Overworked pharmacists are making fatal errors under the unrealistic workload expectations. When a pharmacist provides the wrong medication or the right medication at the wrong dosage, the consequences can be extremely dangerous or fatal.

Why Are Pharmacists Overworked?

Pharmacists are responsible for the safety and accuracy of hundreds of prescriptions daily. Unfortunately, many pharmacists work at chain drugstores that don’t equip them with the proper staffing and resources to handle their workload. Pharmacists are expected to work faster and juggle more tasks than they are physically able to, leading to detrimental medication errors.

Some chain drugstores monitor every minute of a pharmacist’s day and assign them metrics designed to increase efficiency, but these metrics instead contribute to medication errors. Rather than focusing on accurately handling medication off to people, they are focused on meeting numerical goals. In an NBC news article, pharmacists compare their work environment to a fast-food restaurant instead of an important healthcare institution. A recent National Pharmacists Workforce Study stated that more than two-thirds of pharmacists had their workload increase within the past year. However, they don’t have the staff and resources they need to keep up with the workload increase.

Additionally, the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines across the country has placed added pressure on the pharmacist. Pharmacists must simultaneously man the front counters, drive-throughs, and vaccinations, all while trying to ensure people get accurate prescriptions. The already overwhelming understaffing situation has been exacerbated by the pandemic.

What Are Medication Errors That Overworked Pharmacists Make?

Pharmacists are getting less help, have less time, and limited resources despite the growing need for pharmacists. The more overworked and understaffed a pharmacy is, the more likely they are to make the following mistakes:

  • Miscounting the number of pills in a bottle
  • Providing the wrong medication
  • Providing the wrong dosage
  • Mixing up patient orders
  • Mislabeling medication instructions
  • Failing to provide the proper warnings
  • Not looking at the patient’s medical history

Errors made by a pharmacist can have catastrophic consequences. The wrong medication can aggravate a condition or create a new set of medical problems. Patients have the right to be given their prescriptions at the proper dosage with the proper warnings and instructions. Unfortunately, because of the burden pharmacists are under, mistakes are made.

All outpatient pharmacies are held to the same standard of care under federal and state standards. Pharmacies and their employees have a legal responsibility to prevent unreasonable harm to their customers. As a patient, if you are a victim of a medication error, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help navigate the legal process of a medical malpractice claim.

Work with Our Experienced New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Medical malpractice is when a health care provider, like our pharmacists or the pharmacy, deviates from the accepted standard of care and harms you as a result. Medical professionals are trusted with our health. We expect the absolute best care and careful attention from our medical professionals. When they make an error, it can have dire consequences on our lives.

The lawyers at Dalli & Marino, LLP have a high record of accomplishment in representing victims of medical malpractice. They have won numerous medical malpractice lawsuits on behalf of their clients. Our firm has a deep understanding of medical malpractice law and knows how to build a strong case for our clients. To schedule a consultation, fill out our contact form or call (888) 465-8790. We also speak Spanish.


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