Pharmacists in the Emergency Room May Reduce Medical Errors

According to a recent report on National Public Radio, Children’s Medical Center in Dallas Texas employs ten full-time pharmacists in their emergency room. NPR reports, “The pharmacists provide a vital safety net, according to , chief quality officer and a pediatric ER physician. “Every single order I put in,” Morse says, “is reviewed in real time by a pharmacist in the emergency department prior to dispensing and administering the medication.” The initiative is part of the hospital’s effort to reduce medication errors and dangerous drug interactions which cause 7,000 deaths each year. NPR also interviewed Dr. James Svenson, associate professor of emergency medicine at the University of Wisconsin who co-authored a study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine that found that even with an electronic medical record, 25 percent of children’s prescriptions had errors, as did 10 percent of adults’. Now his hospital also has a pharmacist in the emergency department 24 hours a day.

Holly Haines