Pharmacy implements ground-breaking technology to eradicate dispensing errors

By Ben Carey on 30 April, 2021

New barcode technology which validates medicines against patient prescriptions is helping a community pharmacy to eradicate dispensing errors.

Paddy Gompels, of Spa Pharmacy in Melksham, has used barcode validation on a record 98 per cent of the 15,000 prescriptions his practice has dispensed each month since implementing the new technology last year.

As a result, dispensing errors using the technology have been reduced to just one, compared to a total of 21 in 2019 – a reduction of 95.2 per cent.

Developed in Bristol and accredited by the NHS, Titan PMR is the only Patient Medication Record (PMR) system to deploy a dispensing process which stops pharmacy staff from inadvertently selecting the wrong drug.

With an estimated 237 million medicine errors occurring in England alone every year, potentially fatal mistakes in community pharmacy are an ever-present worry.

Paddy Gompels said, “Errors are a constant concern for everyone in community pharmacy. It was clear that we needed to find a way to dispense more items with less manual input, without negatively impacting patient safety.

“With Titan our dispensing process, and our safety, has greatly improved. Our pharmacists have peace of mind that medicines being supplied out of our practice are accurate and safe.

“Titan also provides vast amounts of management data so I can identify any near misses, and with the efficiencies we have found in the dispensing process, we can reinvest time into the delivery of patient services.”

Titan PMR sees every dispensed item validated against the manufacturer barcode before a label is attached.  If the wrong drug is scanned, Titan immediately alerts the pharmacist and stops the label being issued, preventing accidental dispensation.

Tariq Muhammad, CEO of Titan PMR owner Invatech Health, said, “Having run my own pharmacy businesses in the past, I know how devastating dispensing errors can be to a patient, as well as the impact it can have on the pharmacist and the business.

“A serious accidental error could prove fatal and could suddenly end the career of a hard-working and passionate pharmacist.

“I wanted to create a system that could help eradicate human errors. Titan is a great example of how technology can be used to improve patient care.

“I am hugely impressed by how Paddy has embraced the workflow we developed for Titan. I am also proud of my team, who have built a system that significantly improves patient safety, helps fellow pharmacists and supports pharmacy businesses.”

Pictured: Paddy Gompels