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News & Press: WSPA News

Special Report: Keeping Complaints and Investigations at Bay

Tuesday, April 05, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kathleen Goodner
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Keeping Complaints and Investigations at Bay: The Characteristics of Complaints and Inspection Violations Received by the Washington State Pharmacy Quality
Assurance Commission 2014

Contributed by: Nancy Hecox, RPh, BS Pharm, PharmD, GPH, CDP, PRS

Nancy Hecox is a commissioner on the Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission. SHe is committed to helping pharmacists and pharmacy technicians understand why inspections occur to that can be prevented.

Nancy has graciously agreed to share her research with the WSPA membership. Below is the abstract of her paper. To read the report in its entirety, please click here.

Objective: To provide a summary view of the nature of the complaints filed at the Washington State Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission and secondly to provide a summary of the inspection violations for the year 2014 for an opportunity for licensees to learn from others.

Methods: All complaint files were gathered at the Tumwater, WA Department of Health site. Each file was read manually to collect the following characteristics: 1. Who were the Respondents 2. Who were the Whistleblowers 3. What was the Pharmacy location 4. What were the exact nature of the complaints In Part two of this document, as summary of the violations found during investigation are presented and were prepared by the Chief Pharmacy Investigator for the Commission.

Results: This report is a snapshot in time. The findings were varied as to the types of complaints received, as were the inspection violations. The intent of this report was of the educational nature providing focus on some areas for heightened awareness, as it is every pharmacists horror to be involved in an error, or and investigation. No correlations were made in the interest of privacy. Conclusions are left to the reader.

Conclusion: With the increased influx of prescriptions and patients due to enactment of the Affordable Care Act, it is incumbent upon pharmacists to participate in DUR (drug utilization review) evaluation, allergy review, and patient counseling.[4] This process is linked to improved medication adherence and positive clinical outcomes. It also helps detect and prevent medication errors, and prevent patient harm.

About the Author

Dr. Hecox is the  past Clinical supervisor for Tieton Village Drugs in Yakima Washington. She received her BSPharm in 1978 from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, returning to school in 1994 to obtain her PharmD from Idaho State University. She has worked in retail pharmacy, independent and chain drugstores and has taught pharmacology at Pacific Northwest University College of Medicine. Dr Hecox was chosen by Governor Inslee to sit on the Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission. She has served in this capacity since November of 2103. She also helped start the WRAPP program and worked as the chemical dependency counselor for that organization for 6 years.

Dr. Hecox has published articles in various journals and has presented topics concerning pharmacists participation public health services at several conferences. In addition, Dr Hecox may be found running ½ marathons, hunting, fishing and hiking all over the world. She lives in Selah, WA with her husband Ray and two weimeraners, Gus and Cooper happily retired.

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