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Patients should know who did the final check

I have had heated debates with dispensing staff about patients’ right to know if a pharmacist has performed the final check and bagged their medicines. Certainly, if I were a patient, I would like to know who is doing the final check of my medicines.

Therefore, those pharmacies who use accredited checking technicians (ACTs) to do final checks of prescriptions should inform patients before dispensing that the final check will be done by an ACT so that they can make an informed choice about to whether to have their prescription dispensed at that pharmacy.

Kiran Parikh





Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20067607

Readers' comments (3)

  • Disagree. Provided the service is delivered safely, by qualified and trained staff then patient's need not be concerned. I do think that there ought to be an audit trail for the accuracy checking of supplied products, and this ought to be recorded on the patient's prescription document. This could coincide with a change to the legal accountability for dispensed medication accuracy - it's simply wrong that a Responsible Pharmacist is legally accountable for the accuracy of supplied medication, when that medication may have been assembled and checked a) on a totally different day when the RP wasn't present, or b) without the involvement of RP or a pharmacist at all save having had a clinical check carried out on it.

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  • Personally I would positively choose pharmacies where the medicines are final checked by an ACT. In my experience they are much more focussed on the technical accuracy and complying with SOPs than a pharmacist, who gets distracted by other things. Right professional for right role.

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  • In the spirit of openness. In my hospital you have my clear undertaking that your prescription will most certainly have not been finally accuracy checked by a pharmacist but by trained, assessed and accredited technician and/or dispensers. This combined with electronic prescribing and automated dispensing produces significantly reduced dispensing errors as shown in our on-going process monitoring systems. Consequently I can re-direct that pharmacist time away from an area, dispensing, with error rates of around 1 in 5000 to medicines on admission with around 1 in 2.5 and prescribing 1 in 8. In my sessions with our patient forum they are highly supportive of this risk based approach.

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