10 common issues in pharmacies

Unreasonable workload expectations and staffing and scheduling issues ranked highest among negative experiences reported by pharmacy workers in 2023, according to a workplace and well-being report published March 18. 

The American Pharmacists Association and the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations released the eighth installment of their Pharmacy Workplace and Well-Being Reporting trends series. In 2023, pharmacy employees in multiple care settings reported more than 2,500 issues, with 94% indicating them as recurring problems. 

Twenty-seven medication errors leading to patient harm were anonymously reported in the well-being survey. 

Here are the 10 most reported issues from pharmacy workers in 2023:

1. Staffing/scheduling (491 reports)

2. Volume/workload expectation mismatched to available staffing and shift hours (485)

3. Working conditions (420)

4. Pharmacy metrics (399)

5. Training or education (165)

6. Medication error — near miss with no patient harm (142)

7. Professional judgment restricted or supported when caring for a patient (139)

8. Personal safety concerns (123)

9. Technology/automation (80)

10. Insurance or billing issues (80)

"It is troubling that after more than three years since the launch of PWWR, the submitted experiences continue to focus on working conditions, staffing, patient aggressiveness and lack of meaningful communication between pharmacy personnel and management," Brigid Groves, PharmD, vice president of professional affairs at APhA, said in a news release.

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