Quick Tip: Ask for 2 identifiers at the register
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Quick Tip: Ask for 2 identifiers at the register

A common practice that I've seen with at least one of our favorite chain pharmacies is to identify patients at pickup by their name and address, or even by name only. Unfortunately, address is not a patient identifier and can lead to errors.

I've been working when prescriptions were sold to the wrong patient. It's not a fun thing to handle and if the patient doesn't realize it then it can lead to serious harm.

The easiest way to prevent this is to require 2 patient identifiers at the register. Name and Date of Birth are the easiest to implement. Make sure to design your labels so they have the date of birth on them, if they don't already.

Some Point of Sale systems have the option of requiring pharmacy staff to type the patient's date of birth into the system before selling the medicine. That is clearly a best practice - it only takes a brief moment and can drastically reduce the chance of selling the medicine to the wrong patient.

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