Retail, outpatient, and hospital pharmacies underestimate the value of reliable software. Faulty pharmacy point of sale systems — or pharmacy POS systems — not only mess up medication and pill counts, they can also ultimately claim lives.
The Tragic Story of Emily Jerry, Age 2
Doctors diagnosed Emily with cancer at one and a half years old. “The tumor was the size of a grapefruit inside her tiny little abdomen,” her father, Chris Jerry, writes on The Emily Jerry Foundation (an organization he created in her honor). Miraculously, Emily’s cancer disappeared completely after several rounds of chemotherapy. Doctors ordered one final round to ensure all cancer was out of Emily’s young system. That final round of chemotherapy killed Emily.
What happened? Emily’s tragic death can be attributed to two causes. First, the hospital’s pharmacy POS system failed shortly beforehand. The failing system may have affected pharmacy inventory or counts, leaving the hospital with a shortage prepared chemotherapy bags. Second, a pharmacy technician created a custom bag — filling it with 23.4% sodium chloride solution. A prepared bag would have contained less than 1% sodium chloride. The overdose killed Emily.
Emily’s Father Campaigns For Important Pharmacy Changes
“My beautiful Emily’s death was senseless and preventable,” Chris Jerry continues. Years after Emily’s death, Jerry continues traveling the U.S. and campaigning for pharmacy software improvements and in-depth training for pharmacy technicians. The best pharmacy POS systems, Jerry asserts, are regularly updated and use the latest technology for accurate inventory tracking. Reliable software also “provides real-time visibility into pharmacy inventory, so essential drugs and solutions can be monitored continuously,” Healthcare IT News adds. Jerry is also asking pharmacies to reconsider registering pharmacy technicians. (Some states still do not require licenses for pharmacy techs.)
Emily Jerry was too young. Hospitals and retailers can prevent tragedies and unnecessary deaths by investing in the best pharmacy POS systems and carefully training all pharmacy staff, including pharmacy technicians.