Inthis case study, the process of filling prescriptions by a pharmacist in HMOpharmacy, his assistant and perhaps other staff members will be examined.Presently, the HMO pharmacy has been under inquiry due to the inaccuracy ofprescriptions being filled, and several customers have complained, and lawsuitshave been filed against the pharmacy. A process map will be developed about theprescription filling process in which some critical problems will be specified.
Next, the supplier, input, process steps, output and customer (SIPOC) modelsteps will be used, and leading causes of the problems will be analyzed andidentified. Then, we will determine the primary tools we use in addition to thedata that we will need to collect in order to examine the process and correctthe problem. Lastly, recommendations will be given and a solution to theon-going issues along with a strategy to measure the solution to be sure thatit is sustainable. Statisticalthinking is vital in healthcare as it is present in many other fields. Like inall other fields, the analytical thinking is a process that happens in asystem, with consideration to all variations and classifications, the same isalso expressed in healthcare to make essential improvements that lead toinformed decisions to resolve challenging issues. HMO Pharmacy is riddled witha challenge that can partly be solved through critical statistical thinking.Theproblem, as it has been pointed out by the manager of HMO, is majorly in theirprescription process. The critical problem here is that The HMO pharmacyprescription process is lacking quality control checks to protect the patient’ssafety due to inaccurate prescription disbursed to patients.
It is thus logicalthat we start our reasoning from the basis to identify the cause, and thendevelop the solutions. First, we have to build the process map about theprescription filling system. Using the SIPOC model, we can note down thepossible glitches faced by the pharmacy.
1. The following is a process map of the prescriptionfilling process: Inreviewing the above process map of the prescription filling process of thepharmacy, the fundamental problems the pharmacy is experiencing is double. Thefirst question is inaccurate prescriptions being processed. For example, if aprescription gets past the initial review process and is not accurate, apatient could be prescribed the wrong medicine, or possibly worse, the dosinginstructions may be wrong. Another key problem the pharmacy could beexperiencing in checking the meds against the label before packaging. Once themedication is pulled from inventory, there needs to be a double check of thelabel that is being attached to the medicine. Labeling the wrong medicationcould have fatal consequences for a patient. Pharmacy receives patient prescriptionContact Prescribing Physician Review script for accuracy.
Print Script labeland review Remove meds from inventory and package Check meds against labelPrepare and distribute meds to patient The SIPOC model has the followingelements: supplier, inputs, process steps, outputs, and customers. The SIPOCshows us that the interpretation as follows: Element Process SupplierPhysicians and Hospitals Inputs Medications Prescription Process Steps Printingmedicine label, verifying correct medicine, labeling the drug, and packagingthe medicine Outputs Distributing the medication to the customer receives theirprescription 2. The possible root causes of the problemscould be identified in the transcribing and administering of the medications.The tech entering the wrong prescription can be the start of getting theprescription filled wrong. The customers are the patient then receives themedication prescribed by the doctor; they have to analyze the process map andthe SIPOC model, the primary cause of patient’s prescription being filledincorrectly are similar sounding names of medication, ineffective checks of theprescription by the pharmacist, and doctor error or ineligible writing is acause. There are other roots causes are the pharmacist not double-checking themedication before they give it to the patient or misinterpret the prescription.The leading causes could be common causes that could be fixed by the pharmacistdouble checking the medication before doing it to the patient.
Nevertheless,there could also be specific causes such as the patient having adversereactions to receiving the wrong medications, resulting in hospitalizing orworst death. The primary tools that would be used to collect to analyze thebusiness process necessary to correct the problem would be to wait for a monthof date for verifying the change point in the times series that would allowmaking improvements in the prescription being accurate.3. Some of the solutions to the HMO’s problemsof prescribing incorrect medication would be to hire more experiencedpharmacists that are newly educated on the medications that doctors arepresently prescribing at present or recruit interns so that they can get theexperience to get the required hours that is needed for them to pursue in thepharmacy career. Another solution would be to eliminate handwrittenprescription and have the prescription typed on a typewriter or have theprescription sent electronically. Lastly, counseling patients about theprescription when a pharmacist does this they are educating the patient anddouble checking the patient medicine at the same time. “As gaining moreexperience, they can point out how the workflow might be improved so that I wasable to coordinate the work dealing with patients and with checking prescriptions;counseling is the last chance and step in ensuring that the patient receivedthe correct medication and will take it for treating the diagnosed problem”