This page discusses what a pharmacy root cause analysis is, and, among other things, why it is important for technicians and other pharmacy staff to understand how helpful it can be.
According to statistics, the accuracy rate of pharmacy dispensing is estimated to be 98.3% which at first seems like an enviable number compared to the accuracy rate of many other professions.
However, the percentage translates to roughly 4 errors for every 250 prescriptions that are filled daily. Taken to national levels, it means that about 51.5 million errors occur for every 3 billion prescriptions.
While many errors turn out to be non-issues, that still leaves many of them that cause serious complications or worse. Thus, the need to control the risk factor becomes greater for pharmacy techs to get every prescription correct as one mistake may have dire consequences.
While many state have a Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) as part of their regulatory oversight, they use Root Cause Analysis (RCA) to help them in case an error in filling out a prescription causes a serious injury or death.
The RCA is a process that is used to identify the factors which caused the injury or death to occur because the prescription was mistakenly filled out.
The focus is not on the performance of the individual, but rather the process and systems used that led to the mistake occurring.
By identifying the root causes, it provides insight into the underlying factors that led to the unfortunate event occurring.
The goal of RCA is to do a full examination of what happened, examine the current systems in place, identify the specific reason and root causes so that such an event does not occur again.
The analysis itself captures the specific cause, but also the big picture in the conditions that created the environment for this to occur.
For example, if the specific cause of a mistaken prescription was that the pharmacy tech was tired and misread the information, the big picture might reveal the working conditions of the pharmacy contributed to the specific cause.
For pharmacists, the RCA is a proven system that helps get at the cause of prescription mistakes and reduces their frequency.
While RCA is the standard response when a serious injury or death occurs from a mistaken prescription, it is also a system that pharmacists can use when examining their procedures to help them become more efficient and make fewer errors.
Unfortunately, it has not been until the past few years that pharmacists have been able to access the tools and programs so they can conduct a Root Cause Analysis on their own to improve the overall system they use in their daily work.
It allows them to step back and see the big picture of their working environment so they can work more efficiently and help avoid making errors.
Being proactive helps avoid making mistakes, but that is only if the specific error can be foreseen. This is because changing a system to avoid one type of error may lead to other types of mistakes being made.
RCA helps avoid that by looking at the entire system so that changes can be seen in the big picture. RCA is the tool to use when an error has occurred, whether the consequences are small or large.
Until an error is made, the pharmacists should employ a system of checks and balances so they can work at peak efficiency while taking the necessary steps to avoid errors from occurring.
Pharmacy techs need to know that RCA is not designed to blame an individual for an error, but rather to find the root causes as to why the conditions in the pharmacy created the error.
The environment, working conditions, and systems present create the conditions for errors to occur, which is why techs need to be as dispassionate as possible when undergoing an RCA.
In most cases, the errors that led to injury or death that are focused on an individual tech were at least in part created by their working environment.
Positive changes to that environment means reducing the likelihood of the error from reoccurring. There are exceptions, of course, but techs should view the RCA process in a positive light as it highlights the conditions of the workplace, not the individual.
First and foremost, RCA works because it focuses on the environmental conditions of the workplace in terms of the systems, expectations, and overall atmosphere of the pharmacy itself.
In the old days, the suspension or firing of a pharmacy tech because of an error rarely altered conditions in the pharmacy itself as the same systems remained in place and more errors occurred.
By looking at the big picture and taking steps to correct the systems in place, the RCA brings everyone together in looking for the root causes.
The type of error that caused the mistake to occur is now addressed so that its chances of reoccurring are greatly reduced.
Pharmacy techs are usually well-schooled in medication safety, but it is important to keep up the training and emphasis on safety in every prescription that is filled. While no system can eliminate all errors, instituting changes that come recommended from an RCA means lessening the chance of the same type of errors from occurring.
For pharmacy techs, self-evaluation combined with a focus on the daily routine to spot potential errors in advance should be a part of their daily activities.
Simple things like going too fast, feeling the pressure of getting tasks performed, and dealing with customers are all part of their everyday lives.
However, nothing is more important than ensuring the prescriptions are filled out correctly and undergo a checking process so that if a mistake occurs, it is caught before it reaches the customer.
The Root Cause Analysis is the step taken after an error has occurred. However, pharmacy techs (and pharmacists) have the ability to catch most potential issues beforehand by focusing on medication safety first, using the proper techniques, and following a series of procedures to maximize safety.
Continue Reading Below for a Special Offer Going on NOW
Grab this Collection of over
So, you've found this page and you're wondering "What is the Premium PharmTech Package and Why Am I Going to Invest in it "STAT"?"
Clearly you need to know how this Premium Collection of e-Books and e-Reports has the potential to impact your life, improve your career, your job satisfaction, your workplace relationships, and maybe even your income. Can an collection of digital downloads do that? Read on...
This Fantastic Collection of over 24 e-Books and e-Reports is Hand-picked just for you. You see, I'm pretty sure I know something about you...
What would you pay to learn...
Imagine, just for a moment, what work would look like for you, after you invest in yourself and get this VALUABLE, JAM-PACKED e-Book Package... and apply what you've learned...
These examples are just the "tip of the iceberg" on all the stellar content you will soon be reading and applying.
While you're sitting there reading this page, you begin to understand why you can't afford to waste any more time getting less than everything you deserve in your pharmacy tech career.
As you think about what you need in your career, you begin to realize that you have only one choice to make, and that is to invest in yourself and grab this Premium PharmTech Package.
Scroll down to see all of the resources (PDF digital downloads) included in this UNBELIEVABLE Deal...
Premium PharmTech Package
Powerful and Invaluable Knowledge from an
Experienced Pharmacy Insider is YOURS
Take Months off your Learning Curve!
Let this Premium E-Book Package
help you NOT have to reinvent the Wheel!
Invest in yourself and your career!
You are clicking on the "Buy It Now" button ;)
and Checking Out Now
(before this SPECIAL OFFER goes AWAY for Good)
Didn't find what you were looking for? Use the box below to search this entire site.
Jan 17, 18 08:59 PM
How many pills should it be if you take 1 and 1/2 pills daily for 30 days?
Jan 17, 18 08:48 PM
How do I calculate days supply for an injection taken weekly? I had an estradiol injection written for 10ml inject 0.8 ml weekly. What steps do I take
Jan 16, 18 09:47 PM
200units/ ml there's 9mls of insulin and you inject 8 units every day. How many days is it?
Dec 19, 17 08:41 PM
I was wondering if a pharmacist got the wrong idea one day when someone bought a pill crusher and was waiting for a couple of hours for his ride and they
Dec 19, 17 08:20 PM
What day can I refill the above 3 days supply?
Dec 18, 17 10:58 PM
Oxycodone 5mg, Take 2 tablets by mouth every 4-6 hours as needed for pain. Quantity=60
Dec 18, 17 10:52 PM
How do you calculate days of supply given: Kayexalate susp i tbsp with water po bid X 454 g On hand : kayexalate 1mmol/g pack size 454 g
Dec 18, 17 09:59 PM
What is the day supply for Lantus vials U-100? Dispense #4 10ml vials Inject 10 units sq bid
Dec 06, 17 11:16 PM
How do you set this up to solve to find the days supply?
Nov 27, 17 11:39 PM
Neurontin 300 mg tablets #15 1 tab po qod What is the days supply?
Nov 27, 17 11:25 PM
Take One Tablet by Mouth Every 4 Hours As Needed for Pain Not To Exceed 6 Per Day
Nov 18, 17 07:44 PM
Pharmacy Technician Cover Letters - The basic format to use when writing your Cover Letter, as well as what to write to make sure your resume gets moved into the "interview" pile.
Nov 18, 17 06:16 PM
If you have 20 pills and you take 1.5 a days what's the days supply
Nov 18, 17 06:05 PM
Your pharmacy stocks stavudine in bottles of 30 capsules. How many capsules would you need to dispense for a 90 day supply?
Nov 18, 17 02:17 AM
Duties and Responsibilities of the Hospital Pharmacy Technician.