Magazine article Drug Topics

Safety Checklist Puts Pharmacist in the Cockpit

Magazine article Drug Topics

Safety Checklist Puts Pharmacist in the Cockpit

Article excerpt

Just like pilots running through a cockpit checklist prior to take-- off, pharmacists can tick off steps in the dispensing process using a new safety device that was 40 years in the making.

The Check-- Right Rx Checklist is a low-tech vehicle to train pharmacists to think in a specific way in order to reduce dispensing errors. The checklist is printed on a brightly colored laminated card. The large size includes a grommet for hanging in the dispensing area, while the smaller version is designed to fit in a smock pocket. The front side is for use by technicians and R.Ph.s, and the reverse side lists tips for the pharmacist alone. The first checklist asks a series of computer entry-related questions, including whether the drug is disease appropriate; whether the strength, dosage, and days' supply are appropriate; and whether the Rx makes sense. The final question is, "Are you sure it's right?" The flip side urges the pharmacist to concentrate, compare the Rx to the label and the stock bottle, and once again run through the questions about appropriateness. It also offers tips for patient counseling, such as opening the vial to view the contents as a visual safety check.

The checklist was developed by Bradley Whitney, president of Apothecarist Institute Inc. …

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