Letter sent to 51 boards of pharmacy by the TPA

The Pharmacy Alliance
6023 Avenue S, Box #134, Galveston, TX 77551
Steve Ariens, P.D.
National Public Relations Director
Jan 12, 2012

Dear Pharmacy Board:

We, at The Pharmacy Alliance, are concerned about the typical work environment of our colleagues and the patients that are being harmed because of errors resulting from such environments.

While we understand that most boards decline to address prescription volume and staffing man hours, we are concerned no board has addressed aribritary time production metrics that are widely being forced on Rx dept staff. Study after study, involving many professions and industries , demonstrates a person working more than 8-10 hrs, particularly without breaks, becomes both less efficient and more prone to errors. Recently the Joint Commission published results of such a study http://www.jointcommission.org/sea_issue_48/

We respectively request that each state Board of Pharmacy, place on their next agenda and discuss the implementation of mandates that will address these system induced errors. With a reported 100,000 people dying from medical mistakes and 1.5 million being harmed from medication errors. We think that it is time to help prevent the next “Eric Cropp incident”.

In our opinion, some of the health and safety issues that need to be addressed:

1. Prohibit any Rx ready in minutes guarantee or advertisement that promotes how fast Rxs can/will be filled.
2. Limit the number of hours a RPh can work in a given day to no more than 10 hrs, including breaks.
3. Mandatory 30 minutes meal break for RPh scheduled working => 6 hrs. If pharmacy is being staffed by a single RPh, require mandatory closing of Rx dept.
4. Drive Thru windows are to be closed when there is no tech support in the Rx dept.
5. Eliminate any/all corporate mandatory Rx or vaccination production metrics or quotas.
6. Other timed metrics (answering phone, drive thru, cash register ) can only be imposed on ancillary/tech staff ,
not Pharmacists
7. Mandate that any settlement with a patient for medication error that involves a settlement, greater than the cost of the medication(s), be reported to the board.
8. Pharmacies will report these errors noting chain, store, Rph. Any chain, store or RPh that demonstrates annual error rates in the top 25 percentile … will have to submit to the board, a written plan, how CQI is being implemented/improved to reduce errors.
9. Any non-Pharmacist employee, of the permit holder, that attempts to influence the professional decision of a Pharmacist can be charged with practicing pharmacy without a license and/or permit holder fined for allowing such behavior, or both.

We would appreciate a response to our request, at your earliest convenience

Steve Ariens, P.D.

3 Responses

  1. […] It  may be just a coincidence , but Jan,2012 The Pharmacy Alliance send a email to the 51 BOP’s http://www.pharmaciststeve.com/?p=457 […]

  2. […] I checked my records and could not find where the OK BOP even acknowledged receiving the email sent out by The Pharmacy Alliance in Jan to all 51 BOP’s http://www.pharmaciststeve.com/?p=457 […]

  3. […] errors to a minimum. The Pharmacy Alliance (www.thepharmacyalliance.com) in Jan 2012 ,sent a letter to all 51 board asking them to address nine points of interest that will/can affect medication […]

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