Connecticut Alliance for Safe Prescription Practices
Postal Address: C.A.S.P.P.,
c/o CPA, 35 Cold Spring Rd. Suite 121, Rocky Hill, CT 06067
Fax: 860-257-8241 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Formed in 1997, the Connecticut Alliance for Safe Prescription Practices (CASPP) is a coalition of Connecticut pharmacy educators, practitioners, regulators and professional pharmacy associations. The group came together to study the issue of pharmacy-related medication errors, with emphasis on the prescription dispensing process in community and ambulatory care pharmacies. The primary objective of CASPP is to develop and promote the implementation of safe prescription practices as a means of reducing prescription errors. Representation in the group is voluntary and we are not affiliated with, nor do we speak for, any government or private organization or entity.
One of the group's primary goals is to communicate information on prescription dispensing errors to all Connecticut pharmacists, pharmacies and registered technicians. One mechanism for facilitating this communication is the distribution of a newsletter, the first issue of was mailed in October 2000 to the homes of each Connecticut licensed pharmacist and registered technician. Subsequent editions were distributed as noted below (PDF files).
Safe Prescription Dispensing Continuing Education Program developed jointly by CASPP and Bayer Pharmaceutical Corp
The continuing education program, "Pharmacist's Role in Executing Prescriptions" or PREP, has been approved as a continuing education seminar for health care professionals. The program has been certified by the ACPE for 0.3 C.E units (3 hours). In addition to serving as a general C.E. offering, participation in this program will be offered by the Connecticut Commission of Pharmacy, for selected pharmacists who have committed prescription errors as well as to others.
The program focuses on the development of professional awareness, behaviors and skills aimed at enhancing safe dispensing practices and in minimizing the commission of prescription errors. It is anticipated that the program will be presented at least three times each year in Connecticut. Bayer is now offering the C.E. seminar to a national audience. For information on the PREP continuing education program contact Kimberly France at Bayer Corp. Tel:203-812-6443.
CASPP Develops Goals
At its September 1998 meeting, the alliance established the following goals as a means of promoting safe prescription dispensing practices and reducing prescription errors:
1. Communication of information to all Connecticut Pharmacists and Pharmacies concerning the development of safe dispensing practices and current data on prescription errors. Information will be conveyed in a number of ways including a periodic newsletter published by the Drug Control Division & Pharmacy Commission; via this internet site; and through direct mailings to pharmacists and pharmacies. The content of the newsletter is currently being developed and mailings should begin in the Spring of 2000.
2. Adoption of regulations requiring that each Connecticut pharmacy develop, document and make available for inspection a procedure addressing the prevention, detection, internal reporting and response to prescription errors at that pharmacy. The regulations will setforth the elements that must be contained in each pharmacy's policy, as well as establishing the authority for inspection of the document.
3. Recommend that a formal educational component, relating to safe medication practices, be incorporated into the PharmD program offered at the Uconn School of Pharmacy. Discussions with Uconn faculty, indicate that this will be accomplished through instruction that is offered in the first and fourth professional years of the PharmD program.
4. Focus on regulation and/or education of prescribing practitioners and their agents concerning the transmission of prescription information, particularly that which is transmitted orally. A review of prescription error information reveals that most prescription dispensing errors involve orally transmitted prescriptions.
5. Develop consumer education programs to promote consumer awareness of their role in detecting and preventing prescription errors. It is clear that consumers can do a number of things to assist in preventing prescription errors. For example, making sure that they ask their prescribing practitioner for the names of the medications being prescribed for them and then comparing that with prescription label information.
6. Focus on systems issues in pharmacies, as they impact upon the commission or prevention of prescription errors. These factors include workflow, workload, workplace structure, distractions and workplace environmental elements. It has become clear that systems factors as opposed to individual or personal work habits are significant contributors to prescription errors. From a systems perspective we ask "Why did the error occur?" rather than "Who committed the error?".
7. Develop and encourage the implementation of remediation C.E. programs, rather than punitive sanctions for pharmacists or pharmacy technicians who have committed prescription errors. It is the committee's position that punitive sanctions, while sometimes necessary, do little to effectively enhance the development of safe dispensing practices or in minimizing the commission of prescription errors.
8. Examine the plausibility of implementing dispensing systems that identify dosage forms for consumers. Some states, such as Oregon, are in the process of implementing systems that provide a picture or physical description such as tablet color, shape and markings to the consumer at the time a drug is dispensed. The consumer is then able to compare this information with the physical dosage form of the product in the prescription container.