Discovering that an employee may be stealing prescriptions at your pharmacy is a serious and delicate situation that requires careful handling to ensure both patient safety and proper investigation. Taking the right steps is crucial to protect your patients, maintain your pharmacy’s integrity, and ensure a fair process for everyone involved. Here’s what you should do if you suspect an employee of stealing prescriptions:
Gather Information Discreetly
Before taking any action, collect as much information as possible to support your suspicions. Document any irregularities, missing prescriptions, discrepancies in inventory, or behaviors that raise concerns. Make sure to maintain confidentiality during this process.
Involve the Right People
Once you have substantial evidence or strong suspicions, involve the appropriate people. This may include your pharmacy manager, human resources department, and potentially legal counsel. It’s important to approach the situation professionally and avoid making any accusations without concrete evidence.
Conduct a Thorough Investigation
If you have a security team or external investigator, involve them in the process to ensure objectivity and adherence to proper procedures. An investigation may involve reviewing security footage, conducting interviews, and auditing prescription records.
Protect Patient Safety
While investigating, prioritize patient safety. Ensure that any missing or tampered prescriptions are reported to authorities and that patients receive the necessary medications. If immediate patient safety is at risk, take action to address the situation.
Follow Company Policies
Adhere to your pharmacy’s established procedures for addressing employee misconduct. This may involve suspension with pay pending investigation, but be sure to follow legal guidelines.
Maintain strict confidentiality throughout the investigation to avoid spreading rumors or causing harm to the employee’s reputation. Avoid discussing the situation with anyone who is not directly involved in the investigation.
If the evidence warrants, conduct discreet interviews with employees who may have relevant information. Be respectful in your approach and encourage open and honest communication.
Consult Legal Counsel
If the situation escalates or if legal issues arise, involve legal counsel to ensure that your actions comply with applicable laws and regulations.
Take Appropriate Action
Depending on the outcome of the investigation, take appropriate action, which may include termination, legal action, or involving law enforcement if criminal activity is suspected.
Learn and Prevent
After addressing the situation, take time to reflect on what led to the issue and identify measures to prevent similar incidents in the future. Consider strengthening internal controls, security measures, and employee training to enhance your pharmacy’s overall integrity.