Many people wonder about privacy and security when it comes to new systems like e-prescribing. One of the things to consider is that the e-prescribing system is only available to doctors and pharmacists on a secure network. While the privacy and security issues are certainly valid, it often comes down to whether or not a system like this will work efficiently. If it does, then people are prepared to give it a fair chance. It may save their lives and it might be worthwhile.
The idea behind e-prescribing is that patient safety increases because the system will ditch illegible prescriptions, warn physicians and pharmacists about drug allergies immediately and update a patient’s medication record for all prescribing doctors.
It doesn’t take much to make a medication error; it may just boil down to one misread sentence or chart order for a potential fatality. Most often mistakes of this nature tend to occur in hospitals, long-term nursing, and assisted living facilities, and the cover the gamut from over-medicating to under-medicating patients, or even dispensing medications that are unnecessary or dangerous. As our population base ages, the likelihood of medication errors increase. This happens because the older we get, the more trips to hospital we usually have to make. And doctors often prescribe doses which best suit younger people, but don’t always work as well for seniors, who have additional medical issues.
The solution for too many medications, not enough time, mistakes on the order charts, poor handwriting and poor communications with other medical staff, and with the patient, may be avoided with the implementation of e-prescribing. It’s all done by computer in a secure environment and would provide complete patient information at the click of a mouse.