A Pharmacist’s Jail Cell Interview – What Good Does Blame Do?

via Mark Graban:

Here’s one to ponder and comment on – does putting a pharmacist in jail for six months and ruining his career and life do anything to bring back a two year-old girl? Does it do anything to make future patients any safer? Watch this video from CNN about Eric Cropp, an Ohio pharmacist who was convicted and put in jail for six months after a fatal process error…

In 2006, Eric Cropp was a pharmacist at a Cleveland hospital when 2-year-old cancer patient Emily Jerry was killed by the medical error of a pharmacy technician. She was given a chemotherapy drug mixed with a salt solution 23 times more concentrated than the normal dose. But because Eric Cropp was the supervising pharmacist and should have caught the mistake, he was sent to jail. And that’s where I found him, confused, and struggling with regret.

My sense of outrage is overwhelmed by my sense of sadness over this whole case, between the tragic death of the little girl, Emily Jerry (more about the case and the girl), and about how the reaction does nothing to make other patients safer.

It *feels* good, maybe, to put a guy in jail… to hold him accountable, possibly to make an example of him. Cropp claims he was overworked and the pharmacy was chronically understaffed. Has a CEO or other hospital leader ever been convicted for systemic problems in a hospital? Whose fault is it if the pharmacy is overworked? Who goes to jail for that?

A Pharmacist’s Jail Cell Interview – What Good Does Blame Do?