Have E-Prescriptions really reduced Prescription errors?

In Medical Malpractice by radmin


Electronic health records are becoming increasingly popular in the American healthcare industry. E-prescribing is a part of this switch to electronic records, whereby a prescriber can electronically send an accurate prescription to the pharmacy from the point of care. The prescriber identifies the patient’s medical record in the practice’s management system and then enters a prescription using drop boxes that display different options such as name of medication, dosage, frequency of intake etc. After filling out these fields, the prescriber sends the prescription electronically to the preferred patient pharmacy. The pharmacy then sends a confirmation back to the prescriber’s office letting them know that the prescription has been filled and/or picked up.

E- Prescription and its problems

Studies have shown that e-prescribing improves medication safety and significantly reduces prescription errors (from 37 to 7 per 100 prescriptions). Moreover, the problem of illegible prescriptions is completely eliminated through e-prescriptions. However, the problem of prescription errors has not completely been eliminated just yet. In many hospitals that have adopted e-prescription systems, prescribing electronically is an option for providers. Some providers still choose to write a prescription, which can be risky as pharmacists can misread the name and dosage of the medication prescribed. Besides legibility issues, prescription errors can be caused due to the doctor prescribing the wrong dosage of the medication or prescribing an inappropriate medication. Unfortunately, these problems cannot be eliminated using e-prescriptions.

Omission errors can also occur if the prescriber does not include the dosage, duration and frequency. Many pharmacies will refuse to give medication if all the required information is not entered correctly that can lead to wastage of time and can cause harm to a patient who desperately needs to take medication as soon as possible. Sometimes, software errors can lead to wrong prescriptions. For instance, if a doctor or nurse entered the incorrect medication thinking of another patient and then deleted it to enter the correct medication for the current patient, there is a chance that the software does not delete the first (incorrect) entry and sent both entries to the pharmacy. Such glitches are quite common in e-prescribing and can lead to higher health and financial costs for the patient.

Many prescription errors can cause serious adverse effects on a patient’s health and can lead to undesirable health conditions. If you or a loved one have experienced an injury due to an e-prescription or a regular prescription error in Texas, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against you prescriber or pharmacist. The law in Texas allows compensation for the injured person or the survivors of the deceased person caused by prescription errors. Rad Law Firm’s attorneys and staff in Dallas, Austin, Forth Worth and Houston are experienced in a variety of medical error cases and are eager to review your case. We believe in protecting and defending your right to a proper diagnosis and prescription and will try our best to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact Rad Law Firm today for a free review of your case.