April 5, 2024

California requires med errors reporting … eventually

Community pharmacies — defined as any pharmacy that dispenses medication to an outpatient, including both resident and nonresident pharmacies — are now required to report medication errors in California. 

In the new law, a medication error includes any variation from a prescription drug order not authorized by the prescriber, including errors involving the wrong drug, dose, patient, directions, preparation, and/or route of administration. Errors that are corrected prior to dispensing are not required to be reported. The law provides that such reports are confidential and not subject to discovery, subpoena, or disclosure pursuant to the California Public Records Act. The CA board is authorized to publish certain de-identified information compiled from the data in the reports in accordance with specified requirements.

The law went into effect January 1, but the California Board of Pharmacy is delaying enforcement until they identify a vendor to receive the medication error reports.  

As an aside, remember that APC PFM member dues include membership in APMS, a patient safety organization that helps pharmacies report and learn from medication errors.