wrong pick up at POS

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by hao01-, May 23, 2012.

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  1. hao01-


    Nov 17, 2006
    Hi guys
    So this happened at my pharmacy, the technician gave a medication to a wrong patient (patietns have same last/first name) so the patient picked up both own and other's medication. We found out, and Pt took the medication (13 days), MD contacted and confirmed no harm was made to the patient and all the report/QA/Incident report were done; but now the patient wont give back the wrong med and hints that want a monentary compensation or lawsuit. Oh it is a chain pharmacy in CA, and the DM wants to report to the BOP if patient still does not return the med, and my question is, is the pharmacist who verified the RX liable for this eventhough Rph did everythign right but the tech messed it up?
    thank for all your input
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  3. rxlea

    rxlea Almost a unicorn Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Was this a new script? was the patient counseled? If the patient refused counseling, was it documented?
  4. bacillus1

    bacillus1 7+ Year Member

    May 27, 2008
    According to what I remember from my law class, a lawsuit can only be successful if real harm was done. The pharmacist is liable.
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  5. BrightLight

    BrightLight 2+ Year Member

    Is the patient's address stored in your company's computer system. If yes, your RPh may need a little creativity to convince the patient not to pursue this matter further.
  6. hao01-


    Nov 17, 2006
    both of the sripts were refill, filled and bagged separately, so no couseling was required. Well, the patient is determined to get something out of it, so we tried but she just doesnt want to give in...and how about the PIC, is the PIC liable for this too??
  7. ACE Rx

    ACE Rx Super Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Nov 19, 2011
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  8. Old Timer

    Old Timer SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    May 16, 2007
    You pass this up the chain of command. They are being stupid. They don't need proof as you have admitted the error. You have Pharmacy Supervisor and a district manager and a legal department to handle this. The company will be happy to throw some money at them to make them go away.....

    Where you have a problem is that the pharmacist and the PIC are responsible for training the staff to check each bag and match up the DOB so the patient gets the correct medication.
  9. Pharmpills

    Pharmpills Accepted Pharmacy Student 7+ Year Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    The patient has no case, they have to prove harm or to show that the situation harmed them in some way. Most likely the pharmacy supervisors or chain of command will throw them a small bone. As for the Pharmacist as long as they are ensuring the techs, etc are verifying address with each pick up they are good. Mistakes happen in life but in this country it seems people want to sue you for 20 million dollars for having a fly in their burger, or hair in their soup, etc, etc then once in awhile you will have an idiot jury who wants to suck it to the big guy.
  10. Wheresmyaricept

    Wheresmyaricept 2+ Year Member

    Jun 15, 2011
    Tell her you'll countersue for extortion...

    That's like one of our epileptic patients saying she's going to sue us because she didn't pick up her meds, knowing that they had been ready for days, and she had a seizure. (This phone call occurs once a week, if not more)

    But seriously. She didn't question a random new prescription showing up? And she took it? Some people really don't care about their health and just expect doctors and pharmacists to handle it for them. People need to be proactive and take their healthcare into their own hands.

    In our state, for selling the wrong prescription to a patient, it's a 1000 dollar fine charged to the pharmacy itself from the board of pharmacy for violating privacy laws. Not sure about what happens when the patient takes the meds. The tech can lose his or her job for not following established and proper verification for dispensing a prescription. The PIC probably has documentation showing how the tech was trained and that the tech knows what the procedure is. Takes some of the pressure off the pharmacist. What do they expect the pharmacist to do, stand over the tech's shoulder all day? Get real. I'm sure nothing big will come of this. Maybe a 20 dollar gift card from the pharmacy supervisor.

    This stuff happens. If she isn't complying, document everything. If she continues to take the medication against the advice of a pharmacist and a physician, knowing that it could cause her harm, that's her own fault and she has no case.

    I hate people.
  11. abc1234567

    abc1234567 5+ Year Member

    Mar 6, 2011
    Did they sign something for insurance?It is a requirment for insurance depending on your system and pharmacy.
    If yes why did he or she say that he or she is the person.Tell them they have committed fraud if he or she said he or she is the person and actually he or she is not
    Just a point if they did sign for insurance and said that he or she is the person.
  12. group_theory

    group_theory EX-TER-MIN-ATE!' Lifetime Donor SDN Administrator 10+ Year Member

    Oct 2, 2002

    Sounds like she doesn't have a case unless the patient can show damages (as a direct results of negligence)

    I would like to point out a legal concept of respondeat superior, which will make the employer and pharmacist responsible for the actions of the tech through vicarious liability. Even if the tech does something stupid, the pharmacist and the employer are held responsible (inadequate training, or inadequate supervisions are usually what trial lawyers will argue). Usually lawyers will go after the big pockets ($$$) so they might sue the employee, his/her bosses, and the corporation (with focus on the corporation since that is where the money is, or their attention will be towards the person who has the malpractice insurance, which is unlikely to be the lowly paid employee)
  13. browneyes021

    browneyes021 10+ Year Member

    Mar 16, 2007
    But how can one sue when no harm has been done and even that person's MD verified that the patient was fine? What good would come out of suing? How can it be the Rph's fault when they weren't at the register... We can't stand by and do all the things we're required to and make sure techs ask each customer their DOB to verify that person's meds
  14. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor 10+ Year Member

    Well, first of all, the first line of group_theory's post clearly says the patient has no case.

    His second paragraph was pointing out that there is legal doctrine that makes the pharmacist responsible for what goes on in the pharmacy. If a patient WAS harmed by an error like this, the pharmacist could be held responsible.
  15. group_theory

    group_theory EX-TER-MIN-ATE!' Lifetime Donor SDN Administrator 10+ Year Member

    Oct 2, 2002
    If she has no damages, then she has no case

    Medical malpractice requires 4 elements
    1. Duty to care
    2. Breach of that duty
    3. Breach of that duty lead to injury
    4. Damages

    All 4 elements must be present for a tort claim to proceed. It is possible to commit an injury leading to no damages, in which case there is no case.

    For vicarious liability/respondeant superior, you are responsible for the actions of those whom you are supervising (and the same of employers/corporations of their employees). You can make the argument that your employers are responsible for inadequate staffing (or inadequate training), or lack of systems improvement to prevent such error. Just as a captain of a ship can't be physically present to supervise every crew members - any actions done by his crew is his responsibility (and he shoulders the blame). The question in this case would be who has ultimate responsibility (and in most states and case laws, it is usually the corporation/employers)

    In this case, IF there was a case, the trial lawyer will argue that it was the employer's responsibility to ensure adequate training, ensure that there is a system in place to avoid such error, that there is enforcement of such system, and adequate supervision. Since giving the wrong patient the wrong med is res ipsa loquitur, the attorneys will focus on where the errors occurred (and decide whom to sue). Most likely the corporations/employers will take the brunt of such efforts, but the pharmacist may also be brought in (mainly for inadequate supervision - you can try to mitigate some of the damages/judgement by claiming that due to inadequate staffing by your employer that you weren't able to properly supervise the employee)

    Here is an exerpt from the the book
    Pharmacy Practice and The Law, 6th edition
    by Richard R Abood, Jones & Bartlett Publishers
    ISBN-10: 0763781290

    page 378

    Last edited: May 25, 2012
  16. bacillus1

    bacillus1 7+ Year Member

    May 27, 2008
    Group theory, that's one acrobatic Dalek.
  17. browneyes021

    browneyes021 10+ Year Member

    Mar 16, 2007
    I get that in the event there was a case that it would be the pharmacist's fault due to it happening under our supervision, it just seems unfair with everything you can do to prevent wrong pickups (highlighting on bags names or DOBs, etc) that something your tech did could fall back on you. I've had times when a tech gave the wrong med to the wrong patient but it was brought back once the patient noticed it and had not taken it.
  18. rxlea

    rxlea Almost a unicorn Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    I think that's why accountability is so important. I hope that the tech who committed the error will receive the appropriate education and/or reprimand. It's important to stress accuracy and focus. If the tech receives whatever corrective action, the tech is probably going to be more cognizant of his/her actions. This is especially true when there is some sort of step wise approach to corrective action leading to suspensions, terminations, etc.
  19. Rxnupe

    Rxnupe 5+ Year Member

    Feb 2, 2010
    There were a lot of good responses to this thread, but bottom line the patient is dreaming if they think they are going to win some big time money. Normally what would happen in this situation if the person decides to get an attorney the situation would be handled by Risk management who if they are generous may offer the customer 100 to 500 dollars as compensation this is solely base on the evidence that no harm was done. However, if the patient is thinking they are going to get lawsuits in the thousands or millions they are surely dreaming.
  20. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun Gold Donor 7+ Year Member

    Give em a $2000 gift card and they'll go away. What was the wrong medication?
  21. ancienbon

    ancienbon 7+ Year Member

    Jul 27, 2010
    How would you deal with this situation? A patient came to dropp off 2 controlled scripts, a c4, and a c2. A couple hours later a niece came to pick up his uncle medications at drive thru. adsress, and dob were verified. a few hours later, patient came to pick up the medications, and said he did not send anyone to pick up his medications. He went home to check with all his nieces, and wife. He came back and said noon had pick up scripts. There is no camera at drive thru.
    How would deal with it?
  22. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor 10+ Year Member

    Do you have a signature log? Did you get a name?
  23. ancienbon

    ancienbon 7+ Year Member

    Jul 27, 2010
    there is no signature log . we verify address , and name
  24. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor 10+ Year Member

    You could ask the patient if he wants to report the meds stolen. If you suspect that he and his family are trying to pull something (I've seen it happen...) that might call their bluff.
  25. JoBreeze

    JoBreeze 2+ Year Member

    Sep 10, 2012
    America is the best country on earth. I know this for a fact.
  26. moolman

    moolman 7+ Year Member

    Mar 12, 2007
    Handle on the Law

    You have no case

    No lawyer would take this case anyway, there's no money involved cause she didn't die.
  27. ArcSil

    ArcSil ℞: ArcSil; Sig 1 QH PRN

    Apr 18, 2012
    Doesn't your state (or even pharmacy) have a requirement that you need to show photo ID for a pickup of a Schedule II if they are not known to the pharmacist?
  28. gtpederson

    gtpederson 7+ Year Member

    Apr 1, 2007
    I had a doozy awhile back at my store. Two patients: same first and last name (not something common like John Smith, SAME first AND last name - John John and John John, basically), same address (different apartment number), same month/date birthday (different year), extremely common drug (atorvastatin).

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