For one little girl, pharmacy inventory management meant the difference between life and death. Sadly, mismanaged medications and pharmacy stock ultimately claimed the life of toddler Emily Jerry at age 2. (“Our Emily was killed by an overdose of sodium chloride in her chemotherapy IV bag,” Emily’s father writes on the Emily Jerry Foundation website.)
Preventing tragedies like this one starts with reliable pharmacy POS software. Many do not realize that point of sale software also helps — accurately and precisely — track inventory. This is especially important for pharmacies, who need to provide consumers and patrons with exact dosages, prescriptions, and refills.
What Pharmacies Can Learn From Emily’s Story
Emily’s untimely death resulted from a series of errors. First, the hospital’s electronic system failed. Second, a pharmacy technician prepared a bag of sodium chloride instead of using a provided, prepackaged bag with the proper dosage. The toddler’s death was preventable. A reliable pharmacy point of sale software, coupled with greater training and licensing stipulations for pharmacy technicians in Ohio, may have saved Emily’s young life.
The Emily Jerry Foundation recommends two preventative steps:
- Up-To-Date Pharmacy POS Software
Current pharmacy POS systems can save lives. Point of sale systems help track inventory, offering another point of reference to check against EHRs and counts by hand. Healthcare IT News recommends “real-time visibility into pharmacy inventory, so essential drugs and solutions can be monitored continuously” and systems that “check the composition of a medication.”
- Better-Trained Pharmacy Technicians
The organization released The Emily Jerry Foundation’s National Pharmacy Technician Initiative and Scorecard. The scorecard helps patients rate states’ education, training, and licensing requirements for pharmacy technicians. The Foundation also provides letter templates for those in states with less than satisfactory regulations.
Emily Jerry’s death was tragic, and preventable. Don’t let your pharmacy be the next to take lives unnecessarily. Always make sure software is accurate and up-to-date and ask your state to reconsider important training and educational programs for pharmacy technicians.