A recently published study has concluded that pharmacy technicians have significantly lower discharge transcribing error rates compared with doctors.
The authors have said that this service intervention has the potential to improve patient safety and minimise inefficiencies from correcting errors. At this stage, it is not fully understood why technician-transcribing error rates are significantly lower than doctors.
The study sought to compare the transcribing error rates of discharge prescriptions between pharmacy technicians and doctors in an acute hospital setting.
Pharmacy technicians were trained in the transcribing of discharge medications from inpatient to discharge medication charts.
There were 12 doctors and 8 pharmacy technicians involved in the study. The doctors transcribed 77 discharge prescriptions, and 678 items with 127 errors recorded (18.7% error rate). Pharmacy technicians (n=8) transcribed 63 discharge prescriptions, and 654 items with 25 errors recorded (3.8% error rate).
This represented a significant difference between groups in error frequency with a 14.9% difference between groups.