Recently, I had a conversation with a friend regarding the situation of pharmacists practicing in public hospitals.
“Since the number of pharmacists practicing in a public hospital increased tremendously in the past few years, is the workload more manageable now?” I enquired.
“Manageable? While it is true that the number of pharmacists have increase, our work efficiency has reduced because the workflow has become more complicated. So, it’s currently worse than before!” my friend scoffed.
“Complicated?” I recall that when I left government service about 5 years ago, the Ministry of Health was considering to introduce a computerized system for patient records and prescriptions. This should increase work efficiency shouldn’t it?” I asked with a confused expression.
“The computerized system is not fully automated! After receiving a handwritten prescription from a doctor, a pharmacist will have to key in the details of the patient and prescription into the system manually before preparing and dispensing the medications. For this extra step, our department added three more pharmacists just to cope with it! Not to mention the increase in patient load over the years, hence our situation is now worse than ever.” My friend explained with a bitter smile.
“What? Instead of making the workflow more efficient, it actually complicate things.” I lamented in disbelief.
I hope that the Ministry of Health will investigate the current situation of the inefficient system and the actual roles of pharmacists. Pharmacists play an indispensable role in pharmacotherapy and prevention of drug-related errors. Easing up the workflow of dispensing medications and increasing the number of pharmacy assistants will allow pharmacists to perform their proper roles in securing patient safety.
Please let Pharmacists do their job!
Photo credit: https://www.pbahealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/stressed_girl.png