Journal Article

Pharmacist workload and pharmacy characteristics associated with the dispensing of potentially clinically important drug-drug interactions.

Malone DC, Abarca J, Skrepnek GH, et al. Medical care. 2007;45:456-62.

Medication safety programs continue to focus on minimizing potential drug interactions. This study discovered that higher pharmacy workload, defined as the number of prescriptions dispensed per pharmacist work hour, led to increased risk of dispensing a potentially unsafe medication. Investigators combined survey data from community pharmacies with pharmacy claim data and found that pharmacist staffing and levels of automation also predicted dispensing of potential drug interactions. The study did not address whether these potential drug interactions led to actual adverse events. Questions about adequate pharmacist staffing, similar to research published in nursing, could provide important information to pharmacies and hospitals about safety and quality.