FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 25, 2013
The Emily Jerry Foundation Unveils National Pharmacy Technician Initiative including State Scorecards Rating Pharmacy Technician Requirements
CLEVELAND, OHIO ─ As with the tragic death of beautiful 2-year old Emily Jerry in 2006 at the hands of a poorly trained pharmacy technician, as well as the more recent heartbreaking loss of life that occurred as a result of unsafe practices in Massachusetts at the pharmacy responsible for the meningitis outbreak…The general public is not made aware of the fact that they are routinely put at risk within our nation’s medical facilities until it is too late.
Similarly, a majority of the public is not aware that in all of our nation’s medical facilities, pharmacy technicians, rather than well-trained and educated pharmacists, are being used to compound virtually all of their intravenous medications (IV medications) while they receive treatment. To make matters even worse, there are still many states that have absolutely no requirements, or proof of competency, whatsoever, for the pharmacy technicians who compound patient IV medications on a day-to-day basis. The Emily Jerry Foundation’s National Pharmacy Technician Initiative aims to change that.
With the launch of the new interactive map that is available on our home page at emilyjerryfoundation.org, we have attempted to increase the flow of information to the general public and to our lawmakers about these reversible conditions and to become a catalyst for change. We hope to highlight states such as North Dakota, which received a sparkling PERFECT score based on our grading criteria. States like North Dakota, that are doing a tremendous job of protecting their patients through strict controls and educational requirements for pharmacy techs, will serve as a model moving forward for states with failing grades, and most importantly for the 6 states that have absolutely ZERO regulation regarding pharmacy technicians.
The Emily Jerry Foundation looks forward to recognizing the state boards of Pharmacy in North Dakota, Louisiana, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming for their excellent standards. These five states are the only recipients of an ‘A’ letter grade based on our criteria and deserve acknowledgement. We plan on presenting our first annual Guardian Angel Award to these members signifying their exemplary level of achievement in patient safety standards. We also hope to work with and encourage those that are lagging behind to make improvements in their regulatory structures. Our focus will be on using the programs and successful systems in the aforementioned states in creating a template for low-performance states to easily activate and implement. There are 23 states receiving a letter grade of ‘D’ or lower. This startling fact proves beyond a shadow of a doubt there is much work yet to be done.
The task may seem daunting, but we are up for the challenge. We must be, because patients within our nation’s medical facilities, especially the most precious of all – our babies and children – are worth the effort. The goal of The Emily Jerry Foundation is to help save lives through reducing and eliminating the human error component of medicine. By focusing on the systems that are in place not the individuals that make a simple human mistake, and finding best practices to highlight, we can influence major change. We hope readers will find our research to be presented in a strictly objective and easily accessible way, and that these efforts will continue the momentum of progress in our worthwhile endeavor. Together we can make a difference and save lives. Join the cause by donating at emilyjerryfoundation.org.