Why Are there Still so Many False Alarms in Germany?

One year after the launch of securPharm, several thousand false alarms still occur daily in Germany. What is the reason for this?

The number of false alarms in Germany has already decreased significantly within one year. After the launch of securPharm, the false alarm rate was at 4.9 percent. In the meantime, it has dropped to 0.42 percent. A figure that at first sounds rather low, but in fact, there are 15,000 to 20,000 alerts daily.

The causes of false alarms are manifold. Incorrect scanner settings, faulty prints or incomplete data are just some of the possible sources of error.

Source of error: The scanner

The software or hardware in the pharmacies may be configured incorrectly. For example, the scanner cannot distinguish upper- and lower-case letters or the keyboard has been accidentally switched to English, causing z and y to be confused.

Source of error: The printing

If the data matrix code is blurred, mirror-inverted, the colour of the packaging is too dark or the print quality is poor, the code cannot be read correctly.

Error source: The data

The error can of course also come directly from the source itself. Especially after the start of securPharm, the manufacturer’s data records were incorrect or incomplete.

Error source: The handling

We all know that to err is human. So, packages may be booked out twice or, also an initial problem, similar-looking codes are scanned.

securPharm is working on eliminating all these sources of error and making the system generally more stable.

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