While there is no law in place as of yet requiring doctors to use electronic prescriptions, most in the medical field have changed from handwritten prescriptions to electronic prescriptions. This is because electronic prescriptions are thought to help reduce medication errors over handwritten prescriptions.
Although handwritten prescriptions can be messy and ineligible—leaving you and the pharmacist to make guesses as to what the pediatrician prescribed—electronic prescriptions aren’t completely safe either. While there are fewer errors that can occur with electronic prescriptions, mistakes have been made. For example, a doctor could accidentally select the wrong medication name from the drop down menu or the wrong dosage due to a slip of the mouse.
While you can ask your pediatrician to start using electronic prescriptions, his office might not be set up with the correct technology. However, if the office has the computer software required and the capability to send electronic prescriptions to your local pharmacy and the doctor starts using this method of communicating with the pharmacy, it is still in your best interest to ask the pediatrician about the medication he prescribed for your daughter. By getting the brand name, generic name, and dosage information from the doctor, you will be able to determine if the medication is correct or incorrect when you pick it up from the pharmacy.
If a doctor’s messy handwriting or a pharmacy error adversely affected your daughter, you should get your hands on a free copy of our book, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.