Fitchburg Family pharmacy uses technology to cut down on medication errors

Published: Feb. 4, 2021 at 7:15 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 4, 2021 at 10:29 PM CST
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FITCHBURG, Wis. (WMTV) - There are 1.5 million medication errors in the United States each year, according to a Clinical Toxicology study from 2017. Fichburg Family Pharmacy has put technology in place to cut down on any of those mistakes.

“In order for medication error to happen, there’s usually a break down in the system or in the work that we’re doing,” Fitchburg Family Pharmacist Matt Huppert said.

Huppert said the most common mistake within the pharmacy is filling the wrong prescription. To keep those errors to a minimum, Fitchburg Family Pharmacy uses some innovative technology.

“We have a pill counter called an ‘Eyecon,’ where we can dump the medication on to a try,” Huppert said. “That try recognizes the pill and counts it for us.”

Pharmacy technician Mariana Garcia uses Eyecon every time she puts pills into a bottle.

“I’m going to scan the same drug, but the wrong strength,” Garcia said, scanning the pill bottle. “It’ll tell me, it doesn’t match the drug I’m trying to count. [When I] pour it on the tray, it won’t let me count it, because I poured the wrong medication on here,” Garcia said.

If there ever is an error, Huppert said that’s followed by quick reaction and a follow up for the safety of every customer.

“Then, we need to make a plan moving forward with the patient and for ourselves to make sure that doesn’t happen again for them and for any other patient who may be on that medication.”

A mix up at the pharmacy is just one type of medication error. Medication error can also happen at home. Patients can take the wrong pill by mistake or mix medicines that should not be taken together.

Our national Investigative Team looked at studies that have revealed thousands of those mistakes happening every year.  In some cases, experts say they can be avoided.  InvestigateTV questions experts about how and why it happens and how to keep consumers safe.

InvestigateTV: Medication Mistakes
Medication Mistakes

A recent study found nearly 1.5 million medication errors occur each year. That’s roughly one every 21 seconds.

Recent academic studies suggest medication errors happen at a rate as often as three every...

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