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Saturday, January 8, 2005

Trust Cycle

Interesting press release from researchers at the University of California at San Diego.

Pharmacy dispensing volumes spike at the start of each month, because of the timing of government assistance payments . This leads to a spike in medication errors, resulting in a spike in mortality.

Thus trust goes in cycles. At some times of the month you get a rushed service, with little opportunity for personal (authentic) interaction. At other times, the pharmacist may be able to spend a little more time on each item, not just checking the technical correctness of the medication but also relating to the patient as a person.

There are three types of risk that may be affected by this cycle.

  • Implementation risk - is this correctly dispensing what was prescribed?
  • Composition risk - how does this medication interact with anything else the patient is doing/taking?
  • Intention risk - is this the right prescription for this patient?
Trust is not reduced to a matter of technical competence, but embraces the human interaction (or lack of it) between the pharmacist and the patient.

original press release (January 5th, 2005)

relayed in ScienceDaily and in LeaderLog

POSIWID thinkers may note that the negative impact of this phenomenon falls disproportionately on those dependent on government assistance, thus effecting a kind of triage. God forbid there is any purpose in here.

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