You play a key role to ensure Rx directions are clear, correct, and complete.
Missing Rx info on the label...such as the indication or duration...can lead to patient confusion and harm.
Use these tips to help patients understand how to take their meds...and prevent your pharmacy from getting dinged on audits.
Closely read through the ENTIRE Rx before starting data entry. Overlooking additional Rx notes or special instructions can cause problems.
For instance, if you see "1 tablet PO daily" in the sig of a warfarin Rx...but miss the special instructions "One-half tablet on Mon, Wed, Fri"...the patient will get the wrong dose.
Help clarify any "as directed" sigs with the patient or prescriber.
Include all directions and info for the patient from the sig and Rx notes on the label. This can help improve med use and limit mishaps.
And if an antibiotic suspension Rx says to take "for 10 days," make sure this makes it onto the Rx label. That way patients know when to stop therapy...especially if there will be leftover med in the bottle.
Perform a final review before completing data entry. Catching typos, omissions, or other issues early may head off delays later.
Double-check auto-populated sigs against the original Rx. The sig or Rx notes may not be transcribed completely or accurately...and you may need to edit details or add in missing points.
For instance, if an atorvastatin Rx auto populates as "Take 1 tablet orally at bedtime"...but the original Rx also stated "for cholesterol," you will need to add the indication.
This will remind the patient what the med is for...which can be especially important when taking multiple meds.
Also think of it as another safety check in the dispensing process. For example, an Rx for the heart med digoxin with the sig "Take 1 tablet by mouth daily for thyroid" is a red flag that something's amiss.
Dig into our tech tutorial, Preventing Med Errors, for more on different error types and improving safety in your pharmacy.
- www.cms.gov/Medicare-Medicaid-Coordination/Fraud-Prevention/Medicaid-Integrity-Education/Downloads/pharmacy-selfaudit-checklist.pdf (3-31-21)
- Technician Tutorial: Preventing Med Errors