Statistical Analysis To Improve Prescription Processes Term Paper

Length: 4 pages Sources: 2 Subject: Medicine Type: Term Paper Paper: #15478029 Related Topics: Medical Terminology, Pharmacy, Six Sigma, Due Process
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Health Care -- Statistical Thinking in Health Care

The HMO pharmacy is inaccurately filling prescriptions. Prescribers blame pharmacy assistants, the assistants blame pharmacists and pharmacists blame prescribers. Analysis of their system show points ripe for change in order to improve accuracy. In addition, there are multiple measures that can be applied to substantially enhance the quality of the HMO pharmacy's work.

Process Map & SIPOC Analysis

Process Map of Prescription Filling Process

Process Map of Prescription Filling Process

Prescriber determines patient needs medication

Prescriber selects medication type

Prescriber selects medication dosage

Prescriber hand-writes prescription

Prescription delivered to pharmacy

Prescription entered into pharmacy computer system by pharmacy assistant

Pharmacist selects medication

Pharmacist measures medication

Pharmacist counsels patient about prescription

Medication delivered to patient

SIPOC Analysis of Business Process

SIPOC Analysis of Business Process



Process Steps




Patient information

Determines need for medication

Determines type of medication

Determines dosage of medication

Hand-writes prescription

Handwritten prescription

Pharmacy Assistant

Pharmacy Assistant

Handwritten prescription

Receives handwritten prescription

Enters prescription information into computer system

Computer-entered prescription information



Computer-entered prescription information

Reads computer-entered prescription information

Selects medication

Measures medication

Counsels patient on prescription

Delivers medication to patient




3. Main Root Causes of Problems

a. Special Causes

The problem to be addressed is inaccurate prescriptions. The "special causes," those due to external or specific factors (Bright Hub Project Management, n.d.), include prescribers' sloppily handwritten prescriptions and incomplete instructions, pharmacy assistants' erroneous entry of prescriptions into the system and pharmacists' incorrect assumptions about their assistants' knowledge of medical terminology, brand names, known drug interactions, etc.

b. Common Causes

The "common causes," those inherent in the process...


In addition, the prescriber may select the wrong medication and/or dosage, may fail to accurately convey that information to the pharmacy and may not adequately inform the patient about the prescription. Pharmacist assistants may misread prescriptions, commit typing errors and/or guess incorrectly about medical terminology, brand names, known drug interactions, etc. Finally, pharmacists may use the wrong medication and/or dosage and may fail to adequately counsel the patient about the medication.

4. Main Tools and Data Collection

The main tools for solving the HMO pharmacy's problem could be questionnaires sent to prescribers, pharmacist assistants, pharmacists and patients, self-completed records by prescribers, pharmacists' assistants and pharmacists, and focus groups of external observers and simulated patients (Caamano, Ruano, Figueiras, & Gestal-Otero, December 2002). The questionnaires would allow each group of stakeholders to voice their specific concerns about the process and suggested improvements. The self-completed records will allow the analysts to see method and repetition of correct information vs. errors throughout the process. Focus groups of external observers and simulated patients will give an objective assessment of the way the process truly works.

5. Solution and Strategy

In a mythical world with unlimited funds and power, one could solve quite a few transcription errors due to sloppy handwriting by establishing an electronic prescriptions system for all concerned. With e-prescriptions, sloppy handwriting is eliminated, the e-form requests thorough information for completion and patient history is automatically included (DrFirst, Inc., n.d.). In addition, the pharmacy can do its best to ensure the correct entry of prescriptions by using at least 2 patient identifiers as required by JCAHO, and thorough patient information about patient history via the e-prescription and pharmacy records (Nair, Kappil, & Woods, 2010). The pharmacy should also confirm the prescription's correctness and completeness by calling prescribers to clarify any doubts, transcribing the clarification and reading it back…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Bright Hub Project Management. (n.d.). Six Sigma: Network diagram examples. Retrieved April 26, 2015 from Web site:

Caamano, F., Ruano, A., Figueiras, A., & Gestal-Otero, J. (December 2002). Data collection methods for analyzing the quality of the dispensing in pharmacies. Pharmacy World & Science, 24(6), 217-223.

DrFirst, Inc. (n.d.). Rcopia e-prescribing. Retrieved April 26, 2015 from Web site:{creative}&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=%7Bkeyword%7D

Nair, R.P., Kappil, D., & Woods, T.M. (2010, January 20). 10 strategies for minimizing dispensing errors. Retrieved April 26, 2015 from Web site:

Cite this Document:

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"Statistical Analysis To Improve Prescription Processes", 27 April 2015, Accessed.23 January. 2022,

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