Most prescriptions for medications are sent electronically to pharmacies by way of computer. While there are other methods that some doctors still use, such as fax, phone calls, or written prescriptions, electronic prescriptions seem to be how the majority of medical providers send prescriptions to pharmacies.
While there have been favorable reports of fewer medication mistakes occurring with the use of electronic prescriptions, some believe that electronic prescriptions give a false sense of security. Doctors are still moving around from room to room visiting many patients, multi-tasking, and prescribing many drugs. When they use a computer, they start typing in the medication name. Within typing just a few letters, a drug name pops up on the screen. However, it could be the wrong medication.
Doctors still have to spend time making sure the name of the drug is correct, that a patient isn’t allergic to the medication, and that the right dosage is prescribed. If a doctor doesn’t spend the time to read the name of the drug carefully or check to make sure the dosage is calculated correctly based on the patient’s age and weight, a medication error can occur.
Because mistakes can still occur through the use of electronic prescriptions, patients should always ask a doctor the following things:
- What the prescription is, including the brand name and generic name.
- What dosage should be taken and how often.
- If the medication interacts with any medications that a patient is currently taking.
- If there are any potential side effects.
By double checking this information with a doctor, patients will be able to determine if the pharmacist is filling the right medication, if the dosage is accurate, and if the medication instructions are correct. If something doesn’t look right, you should bring it up to your pharmacist because a pharmacy error could have occurred.
If you’ve been the victim of pharmacy error, you may need legal advice. Call the experienced pharmacy error lawyers at Kennedy Hodges, L.L.P., today at 888-526-7616.