1. Verification: Wrong Patient
Get in the habit of having a checklist you run through when verifying prescriptions, regardless of if it’s a first fill or refill. In particular, ALWAYS look at BOTH the patient name AND date of birth. All too often, searching a patient in the system is done solely by the name, or solely by the date of birth. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve caught this error, with same name/different date of birth, or same date of birth/different name- ALWAYS CHECK BOTH!
2. Counseling Required
If you don’t have time at the moment to call a patient, but need to speak with them regarding a Rx, keep the Rx at your station so when they come to pick it up you’ll have it, or staple a note over the bar code so that the technician ringing up the patient will be sure to see it. It’s always best to call, but if it’s ensuring an address or phone number change, this will ensure the question will be asked!
3. Trust Your Intuition
If you have a feeling that something isn’t right, or there’s something just ‘off’, ACT ON IT! Just because a physician wrote a prescription doesn’t mean it’s right- if you have any feeling whatsoever that there even could be an issue, make a call. Look up the dose. Do what you can to make an honest effort to ensure that the prescription you are checking with your hard-earned license is correct!
Follow-up tip: if you are going to call the prescriber because you don’t think something is correct, have an alternative or suggestion prepared and at the ready to suggest. We work as a team, and more often than not the prescriber is glad that you called and wants to hear your expertise on how you can best help the patient.