At PDL we get the occasional call from pharmacists concerned that their heavy workload could lead to a dispensing error.
When questioned on workload recommendations, we refer the caller to review the Pharmacy Board of Australia Guidelines for Dispensing of Medicines.
Under section 11 of this document, it is stated that a single pharmacist should only dispense 150-200 items per day. The guideline goes on to describe how additional pharmacists and/or technicians should be employed as the dispensing levels increase.
The stated volumes of dispensing should be considered as a guide only as for some pharmacies undertaking more complex dispensing, these levels could be too high.
When you add extra duties such as checking DAA’s and performing instore pharmacy programmes (6CPA initiatives), this too will add extra demands on a pharmacist impacting on safe dispensing levels.
A recent call to PDL demonstrates a pharmacist’s concern on unreasonable workloads. This pharmacist works in a dispensary, which usually employs at least two pharmacists because they are doing 200-300 scripts daily, as well as checking a large number of DAA’s.
The pharmacy manager informed our member that he was taking some leave and she would have to work unassisted for several days. As this proposed situation was unreasonable and unsafe, our member was advised to insist a locum be employed, or alternatively to refuse this work shift.
To discuss workload issues or any other pharmacy practice matter call PDL on 1300 854 838 or use your member login here for more information.