Chicago moves closer to easing pharmacist workload
The Chicago City Council Finance Committee on Tuesday approved a measure that would allow Chicago pharmacists to fill prescription orders for no more than 10 patients per hour, in an effort to reduce the workload of pharmacists.
The Chicago City Council Finance Committee on Tuesday approved a measure that would allow Chicago pharmacists to fill prescription orders for no more than 10 patients per hour, in an effort to reduce the workload of pharmacists. It also would require pharmacies to post a list in plain sight showing which pharmacists and technicians have worked shifts longer than 8 hours. The proposal's sponsor, Edward Burke, the committee's chairman, said he hoped to bring the plan up for a vote in the full City Council soon. The alderman has argued that the proposal would reduce the "undue levels of stress" on pharmacists caused by pressure to fill hundreds of prescriptions a day. Pharmacists working constantly for as long as 12 hours a day have said they worry about losing focus during busy shifts and potentially putting their customers in jeopardy. Along with the 10-patient-per-hour limit, Burke's proposal would give pharmacists who work at least 7 hours in a shift two 15-minute breaks and one 30-minute meal break. A pharmacy also would need to schedule at least 10 pharmacy technician hours per 100 prescriptions filled. In addition, the plan would prohibit pharmacies from using staff metrics or productivity quotas that include activities unrelated to filling drug orders, such as promotions pushing influenza vaccinations. Some pharmacists have complained about the growing number of duties in high-volume pharmacies.