Avoiding hand out errors

Whilst face masks and coverings are necessary to reduce the spread of coronavirus, the Patient Safety Group is aware that they can make communication more difficult.

Although this impacts everyone, it may particularly affect those with hearing impairments who may also have trouble reading lips and recognising facial expressions, particularly as the use of transparent face coverings is not widespread. This may be compounded by protective screens which can cause sounds to rebound and become distorted.

This has led to concerns that handout errors may be more likely, as patients and pharmacy colleagues struggle to communicate.

To support pharmacy teams as they think about how to adapt their processes throughout the pandemic, the Patient Safety Group has developed the following guidance.