PITTSBURGH — Food and drug retailer Giant Eagle has received an award from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) for high standards of accuracy in its pharmacy operations.
The Ahold USA supermarket chain said Tuesday that it was presented with the honor at the 12th Annual Cheers Awards reception in Las Vegas. The Cheers Awards recognize individuals, organizations and companies that have set a superior standards of excellence in the prevention of medication errors and adverse drug events.
Giant Eagle’s pharmacy was recognized for its efforts to provide a high level of customer service and accuracy. The retailer said its pharmacy has implemented two quality initiatives that have subsequently been shared with other industry members.
The No Defects Passed Forward (NDPF) initiative urges staff to flag errors before they reach the pharmacist for final verification, according to Giant Eagle.
The second program prevents point-of-sale errors by linking the pharmacy dispensing system to the registers. It works as follows, the retailer said: A barcode with patient date-of-birth information was added to prescription receipts and, when scanned, a blind prompt is created for the team member to enter that date. If it does not match or is not entered, the sale can’t be completed. The only way that the date can be obtained is by asking the person picking up the prescription.
Both of the programs are designed to ensure that the right drug gets to the correct patient, Giant Eagle noted.
"Medication accuracy is paramount at Giant Eagle," Randy Heiser, vice president of Giant Eagle Pharmacy, said in a statement. "We’re honored to be recognized by the ISMP for our dedication to the health and well-being of our customers."
The Cheers Awards are hosted by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, a nonprofit organization that works with health care practitioners and institutions, regulatory agencies, consumers and professional organizations to provide education about medication errors and their prevention.
Giant Eagle has 163 corporate and 58 independently owned and operated supermarkets in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland. Virtually all of the stores have a pharmacy.