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Human Error: Some Fresh Approaches to Consider

Human error in the pharmaceutical industry is one of the most common sources of product defects.
The human race has always been susceptible to mistakes. The more intelligent we become, the more errors that happen - and mistakes might cost companies more than they can afford. But what are some fresh approaches to consider when it comes to eliminating human error? This article will explore several ideas that you might find interesting!

What is Human Error?

Human error is a term used to describe mistakes that are made by people. It is something that can happen at any stage of an organization's operations and it can have a significant impact on the quality of the output.

There are a number of different types of human error and each has its own unique characteristics. This article looks at some of the most common types and explores some ways in which they can be addressed.

There are a number of different types of human error, but three, in particular, are often identified as being particularly problematic. They are:

1) Cognitive errors - these occur when individuals make decisions based on faulty information or faulty reasoning. They can be due to poor judgment, poor problem-solving skills, or a lack of knowledge.

human error in pharmaceuticals
2) Motivational errors - these occur when individuals fail to take account of their own feelings or those of others, leading to them behaving in ways that may not be in their best interests. They can arise from feelings such as stress, anxiety, or anger, or from misguided motivations such as loyalty or competitiveness.

3) Technical errors - these involve mistakes made with the use of equipment or software, such as printers or computer software that incorrectly change values.

4) Organizational errors - these involve problems in the organization of the task, in how information is presented to workers and in organizational processes themselves. It can be difficult to identify organizational errors because they are often not detectable at a higher level.

5) Performance errors - these occur when individuals fail to achieve what they set out to achieve, even though there has been no negligence on their part.

6) Personal errors - these occur when individuals make mistakes because they are not conditioned by social norms - that is, by their environment and culture that pressures them to take certain actions. These are separate from any technical failure or organizational error since they account for only a small percentage of all mistakes made by individuals.
Related: Common Ways to Avoid the Most Frequent GMP Errors

Different Types of Human Errors in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

There are many different types of human errors that can occur during pharmaceutical manufacturing. Some of the most common include:

1. Mix-ups: This type of error occurs when two or more products are inadvertently mixed together. This can happen when employees confuse one product for another, or when products are not properly labeled.

2. Incorrect Dosage: This type of error happens when the wrong amount of a product is used. This can happen if an employee misreads a label, or if a machine is not set up correctly.

3. Wrong Ingredients: This type of error occurs when the wrong ingredients are used in a product. This can happen if an employee grabs the wrong ingredient from a shelf, or if a supplier delivers the wrong ingredient.

4. Contamination: This type of error occurs when a product becomes contaminated with foreign substances. This can happen if an employee does not follow proper sanitation procedures, or if the equipment is not cleaned properly.

5. Cross-Contamination: This type of error occurs when two or more products become contaminated with each other. This can happen if products are stored or handled improperly, or if there is poor communication between employees.

Causes of Human Errors in Pharmaceuticals

There are many causes of human error in pharmaceuticals, from simple mistakes to more complex issues. Some of the most common causes include:

1. Lack of training or knowledge: Employees may not be properly trained on how to use certain equipment or follow safety procedures.

2. Poor communication: Miscommunication between employees can lead to errors, such as someone not understanding an instruction or misunderstanding a co-worker’s intention.

3. Stress and fatigue: Employees who are overworked or tired may be more likely to make mistakes.

4. Distractions: Employees may be distracted by personal problems, outside noise, or other things going on in the workplace.

5. Pressure to meet deadlines: Employees may feel pressure to work faster than they can safely do so, leading to errors.

6. Poorly designed equipment or processes: If equipment is not designed properly or processes are too complicated, it can lead to errors.

7. Poor training or lack of employee training: An employee who was not properly trained may not know how to operate equipment properly.

8. Lack of formal policies: It is possible that a company has policies in place, but employees are either unaware of them or do not follow them.

9. Poor quality control processes: If a company’s quality assurance programs are lacking, then it will likely lead to errors down the road.

It is important for employers to understand the factors that can lead to errors in order to determine if their workers may be at risk of making an error or if they have already made one.

Some Approaches to Avoiding Human Error

The goal of any organization is to ensure that its products and services are of the best quality possible. Ensuring quality means minimizing the occurrence of human error. Unfortunately, human error is inevitable and can result in costly mistakes. In this blog section, we will discuss some approaches to minimizing the occurrence of human error.

One common way to avoid human error is to have a clear standard for what counts as quality work. This can be achieved through periodic reviews and audits or by establishing specific quality standards and requirements during the planning stages of a project. When working with suppliers and partners, it is important to clearly define what is required in order to achieve quality results. In addition, it is important to monitor the progress of projects closely to ensure that all requirements are being met. If there are any discrepancies, corrective action should be taken as soon as possible.

A second approach that can be used to avoid human error is proper training and instruction. All individuals who will be involved in the production or delivery of a product or service should be properly trained on how to do their jobs correctly. This includes those who will be performing manual tasks as well as those who will be using automated systems. If a system has been designed with little or no training, it is likely that some of the employees will not be able to operate it properly. This can lead to human error in data entry and other tasks. If a procedure has been performed incorrectly several times, it is likely that it will be continued improperly in the future unless corrective action is taken.

Proper instruction and guidance should be provided so that employees can perform their jobs without making mistakes. Training should also be given on how to use new technologies or process improvements. Employees need to know what methods have been implemented and why they are important to achieving better performance metrics. If new technology has been installed, employees must understand exactly how these systems work and why this particular system was selected over competing offerings from other vendors. Training participants should be told what to expect from the new company-wide technologies and how they can perform their jobs more efficiently with these tools.

A key element of any training program is feedback. Employees must know whether they have performed well or poorly on a particular task. If they did not score well, then employees need to be told how their performance can improve in the future. Did an employee make a mistake in performing a task? Was that mistake due to poor training or did the employee fail to follow instructions? Employees must know what went wrong and why if corrective action is required, it should be done at once before the same problem occurs again.

Ankur Choudhary is India's first professional pharmaceutical blogger, author and founder of Pharmaceutical Guidelines, a widely-read pharmaceutical blog since 2008. Sign-up for the free email updates for your daily dose of pharmaceutical tips.
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