If you’re not a part of the healthcare field, you might not even know what an e-prescription is. Ten years ago, physicians were writing almost indecipherable prescriptions on paper pads. Anyone over 20 probably has vivid memories of long waits in pharmacies while very sick.
Five years ago, the practice of “calling in” prescriptions to a local pharmacy became standard. Prescriptions were prepared while patients traveled to their pharmacy. Needless to say, this was a great improvement. Pharmacists no longer had to try to decipher handwriting, but there were still problems. During busy times, medical professionals spent valuable time waiting on the phone.
Enter the e-prescription. Using a computer program, doctors can electronically deliver a prescription to a community pharmacy. It sounds like a perfect solution. Unfortunately, issues surrounding e-prescriptions can easily lead to serious medication errors.
A recent article in Medical Informatics and Decision Making cites e-prescriptions as the first of nine high-risk areas in computerized medical systems.
Despite their high degree of expertise in health and medicine, doctors have no special aptitude in the use of computer software. Drop down menus, confusing online forms, and office distractions at both the doctor’s office as well as the pharmacy make medication errors much more likely.
Nursing home residents are at especially high risk for medication errors. With the proliferation of e-prescriptions, the potential for medication errors exists at the doctor’s office, the pharmacy, and also at the nursing home itself.
If you have a loved one who has been injured in a medication error in an Illinois nursing home, contact the Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle for a free and confidential case review. At my law offices we have the expertise to manage every aspect of your nursing home medication error lawsuit, and we would welcome the opportunity to speak to you.