Kenneth R. Baker, BS Pharm, JD
These articles are not intended as legal advice and should not be used as such. When a legal question arises, the pharmacist should consult with an attorney familiar with pharmacy law in his or her state. Ken Baker is a pharmacist and an attorney. He teaches ethics at the Glendale, Arizona, campus of Midwestern University, and risk management for the University of Florida. He consults in the areas of pharmacy error reduction, communication, and risk management. Mr. Baker is an attorney of counsel with the Arizona law firm of Renaud Cook Drury Mesaros, PA. E-mail at [email protected]
Monitoring controlled substances
Thirty-nine states now have a tool to help pharmacists identify at least some questionable prescriptions and suggest when a patient may be doctor-shopping or pharmacy-shopping in order to obtain controlled substances. That tool is the state prescription monitoring program.
Pharmacy CQI: What to bear in mind when you fill out that incident report
Pharmacies can enhance their continuous quality improvement program results by working on three critical elements: implementation, training, and monitoring.
The (almost) last chance to avoid disaster
A pharmacist's most important job is to see that the right drug in the right strength with the right label reaches the right patients.
Is patient compliance a medication error?
When pharmacies are planning their quality assurance or continuous quality improvement plans, they need to determine whether their goals are strictly conformity with state and federal requirements, or something more.
Patient counseling: How pharmacists can choose the most critical cases
The best technique for counseling patients is a combination of Show & Tell and the Indian Health Services questions. If pharmacists could quickly decide which prescriptions needed extended counseling, they could employ this approach when it is most necessary. Now there's an algorithm for that.
Pharmacy medication errors may be ruled criminal
Pharmacy mistakes can sometimes lead to injury or even death. Pharmacists can be held liable in a civil suit for money damages; now a pharmacist in Ohio may be convicted of a criminal charge in the accidental death of a two-year-old girl. It is possible that the effect of criminal liability upon professional practices will worsen outcomes rather than improve them.
Pharmacy training: More than just "filling precriptions"
Pharmacists can interact directly and personally with patients only during counseling. This practice reduces the risk of mechanical prescription errors and shows patients what the pharmacist's education and training were all about.
Medication errors can be reduced by patient counseling
Students in a University of Florida healthcare risk management class examine the connection between medication errors and patient counseling from the dual perspective of pharmacists and risk managers.
Pharmacist risk managers could be worth their weight in gold
A pharmacy risk manager can help reduce medication errors, improve patient safety, manage quality improvement, monitor claims and expenses, and improve healthcare delivery.
What is your success rate at catching drug errors?
For the third month in a row the pharmacy posted on the wall in the back of the prescription department the pharmacy's success rate. This month the pharmacy's success rate (91%) broke a new barrier. It was cause for celebration.