If you are using an outdated pharmacy point of sale or digitized system, you are playing with fire. An alarming number of healthcare professionals do not realize that up-to-date pharmacy point of sale systems — or pharmacy POS systems — and in-depth staff training are critical to patients’ safety. What happens when pharmacies neglect key technologies and training?
Mourning Father Chris Jerry Tells His Tragic Story
Chris Jerry lost his little girl Emily at just two years old, thanks to a series of pharmacy errors. Doctors diagnosed Emily with cancer — specifically a tumor in her mid-section — at just one and a half years old. Emily responded extremely well to chemotherapy treatments. Within months, her tumor — once the size of a grapefruit — was gone. Hospital staff scheduled one final round of chemotherapy. The final round was a precaution only, intended to make sure all of the cancer was out of Emily’s system. Emily died shortly after her final treatment.
“My beautiful Emily’s death was senseless and preventable,” Chris Jerry writes on The Emily Jerry Foundation website. Although the exact circumstances are unclear, Emily likely died from two causes. One, the hospital’s electronic system failed the night before. Two, a pharmacy technician prepared Emily’s chemotherapy bag by hand. That bag contained 24.3% sodium chloride when it should have contained less than 1%.
Jerry Reminds Pharmacies What’s At Stake
Emily’s death is a reminder that failing electronic and pharmacy POS systems can kill. Her father continues traveling the U.S. — years after her death — to tell his story and campaign for important changes in retail, outpatient, and hospital pharmacies. Jerry asks pharmacies to install any and all updates, use current software, and maintain systems that “provide real-time visibility into pharmacy inventory, so essential drugs and solutions can be monitored continuously,” according to Healthcare IT News. Jerry also asks pharmacies to always register pharmacy technicians — if states do not already.
Reliable pharmacy software can easily save lives. Make sure you are using the most recent software — and thoroughly train all employees in your pharmacy — to prevent unnecessary deaths and keep patients safe.