Are Electronic Prescriptions Really Safer?
How many times have you been handed a slip for a prescription by your doctor, looked at it, and had a hard time reading the doctor’s handwriting? Millions of people have had this exact experience and being a pharmacist doesn’t necessarily make it easier to read those prescription slips. Pharmacists incorrectly reading a prescription slip has long been a very common way mistakes happen, but now technology is being used to help improve patient safety.
Electronic prescriptions have become more common, which is supposed to help reduce the likelihood of mistakes. However, it’s very important to remember that electronic prescriptions aren’t necessarily foolproof. There are still lots of different ways mistakes can happen. If information about a patient is outdated or entered into a system incorrectly, it can lead to an incorrect dosage. Since some drugs have names that are very similar to other drugs, it’s easy for doctors to select the wrong drug when entering the prescription information or for pharmacists to grab the wrong medication while filling the prescription. In some cases, alerts about potential interactions go overlooked or a prescription might be entered with incomplete information.
Since it’s so easy for mistakes to happen, it’s important for people to know how they can protect themselves. When you go to pick up a prescription at a pharmacy, open the bag your medication was given to you in to make sure it’s correct. There have been cases of a prescription for one person being placed into a bag labeled with another patient’s name. If you’ve never taken a medication before, there’s nothing wrong with asking to speak to the pharmacist so they can describe to you what exactly a medication is and what it’s supposed to do. If possible, try to research a medication online so you know what it’s supposed to look like.
Regardless of how a prescription is made, medication mistakes can have very serious effects. If you’ve been harmed by a prescription error, contact a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. The Law Offices of Goodwin & Scieszka have lawyers who are experienced in many different types of medical malpractice cases. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.