Today, pharmacists deal with a huge range of medications. Even a person with good memory is not able to remember such a number! At the same time, too many drugs have similar spelling names. Then buyers sometimes bring such unreadable prescriptions that even an experienced decoder can not always figure out what is written.
The similarities in the packages of different drugs or the same drug, but in different dosages, are also often confused by pharmacists. How often the employees of pharmacies make mistakes, no one knows. Here is the US statistics: in this country, pharmacists are mistaken in 4–12 out of 100 cases when dispensing prescription drugs. At the same time, about 87% of their mistakes are caused by the incorrect reading of the prescription, confusion in drugs’ names and package appearance.
It happens that pharmacists get tired and sick, do not get enough sleep, are preoccupied with domestic problems. One of the conflicting buyers spoiled their mood. All of these aspects reduce their attention. Another cause of mistakes is the lack of professional staff. By the beginning of this year, there were 60,270 pharmacies in the USA, and their number is growing steadily. Universities annually graduate 7.500 new specialists, but 4 out of 10 graduates go to work in the retail network.
According to experts, the number of non-professional employees in pharmacy organizations reaches 40%. At best, they have a medical school diploma. The consequence of an acute lack of specialists is a decrease in requirements for applicants. They no longer require experience in the professional field.
The lack of staff in this branch causes another problem – the lack of motivation of pharmacists why to improve their skills and work hard. With a large number of vacancies, staff turnover has also increased. According to some reports, it exceeds 40%. Adaptation of each new employee takes time.