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Types of Errors

Dangerous and Defective Drugs If you put your trust in a pharmaceutical company and were hurt by their product, you deserve compensation for your suffering.
Wrong Medication Did you receive the wrong medication or incorrect prescription from a pharmacy? If you have suffered because of a medication error please call us for a free case review.
Wrong Dosage Common forms of medication error: incorrect dosage error. Order our free book to learn how to protect yourself and your family from wrong dosage errors.
Other Errors Order our free book, "How to Make Pharmacies Pay for your Injuries Caused by Medication Errors, to learn your rights in prescription error cases.
Kids Rx Errors Order a free copy of The Top 10 Tips to Protect Your Children Against Pharmacy Errors. If you have suffered a prescription error contact our firm today.
Pharmacy Malpractice If you have suffered an injury because a pharmacy dispensed the wrong medication or made an error with your prescription, you are able to file a claim for negligence or malpractice and receive the compensation you deserve.
Walgreens Pharmacy Error Claims There have been numerous claims brought against Walgreens for pharmacy errors or prescription errors. Order our free book to learn how to take action.
CVS Pharmacy Error Claims If you've been injured because of a CVS Pharmacy prescription error, call us for help with your lawsuit at 888-526-7616.
State Pharmacy Boards If you have been severely injured because of a medication error, contact board-certified attorneys immediately to investigate your case free of charge.
Drug & Pharmacy Error Prevention Filing a pharmacy error lawsuit is the only way to make pharmacies take accountability for mistakes. Call our board certified attorneys for a free case review.
State Pharmacy Laws State laws on pharmacy malpractice. Learn the pharmacy error Statute of Limitation laws that apply to your state. Call 877-342-2020 for a free consultation.

What Happens When a Prescription Is Sent Electronically? An Incorrect Dosage May Happen

David W. Hodges
Partner at Kennedy Hodges LLP practicing pharmacy error, medical malpractice and personal injury law

Have you visited a doctor for an illness and been prescribed medication? It used to be that you would walk away from the doctor’s office with a piece of paper in hand that you could hardly read. However, instead of receiving a written prescription to take to the pharmacy, most doctors are now sending an electronic prescription to your pharmacy for you.

An electronic prescription, also known as e-prescribing, is the writing and sending of prescriptions through a computer. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are many benefits associated with e-prescribing, including:

  • Preventing medication errors by providing digitally written prescriptions, instead of hard-to-read, handwritten ones
  • Reducing the amount of time pharmacists spend on the phone clarifying handwritten prescriptions
  • Reducing adverse drug effects by helping pharmacists and doctors identify drug interactions through the computer

How E-Prescribing Works

A doctor selects a drug via the computer that he or she wants to prescribe a patient. The order gets sent electronically via an encrypted network to the pharmacy on file. The pharmacist then receives the prescription and fills it.

While this sounds great and safe and there are many benefits to e-prescribing, there is still concern that wrong dosages might occur due to inability to interpret codes, also known as SIG codes. Doctors use a variation of codes through e-prescribing, and pharmacists may have difficulty interpreting these codes such as take medication once daily (QD) or take medication four times daily (QID). If QID is prescribed instead of QD, a patient may suffer a medication error and a potential overdose.

Concerns About Electronic Prescriptions

Even with e-prescribing, there is still the concern that pharmacists may mistake a medication with a similar name or appearance for another drug and fill the prescription incorrectly. Also, doctors and pharmacists may have a false sense of security with the use of the computer; typing errors are one example of an error that could occur and lead to the incorrect dose and patient harm.

For this reason, it is best for patients to ask their doctors for a hard copy of the prescription (prescription voucher) or for the drug specifics, including the name of the medication, dosage, and instructions on how to take the medication. Patients should never solely rely on the doctor sending the prescription to the pharmacy electronically or else they will not know what to expect at the pharmacy, such as if they are picking up the right drug and if the medication dose is correct. If patients have the prescription voucher in hand, they can check to make sure they are receiving the right drug and the correct dose.

Victims of medication errors should contact an experienced pharmacy error lawyer for help understanding their rights and to make sure they are receiving justice. If you or a loved one was injured by a pharmacy mistake, call Kennedy Hodges, L.L.P. at 888-526-7616 for a free consultation and a FREE copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.