An electronic health record, or EHR makes creating, updating, and maintaining medication information more efficient. Using EHR’s can update medication information immediately, so that a provider knows not to prescribe a conflicting medication. EHR’s also give all providers access to any medication allergies a patient might have, preventing any medication conflictions. EHR’s transmit prescription information electronically, thus preventing the age old problem of reading a doctor’s hand writing. This lowers the risk of potential errors between a physician and a pharmacist, this also prevents a patient from losing or altering a paper prescription. EHR’s help a physician know a patients history of medications and can help a physician and patient decide what has worked in the past for an existing conditions. Many patients take multiple medications in various dosages and cannot be expected to remember all the names and dosages.
EHR’s make it possible for a physician to look up all current and past medications as well as dosage. For example if a patient is in an automobile accident and is unable to speak an emergency room technician can access the patients EHR and retrieve all the patients current medications so that they insure not to give the patient anything that may conflict with a medication the patient is currently taking. If a patient has a heart attack and is unable to communicate, a physician can see that a past heart medication caused the patient to have an adverse reaction and they will administer an alternate medication. Errors in prescribing or taking medication harmed approximately 1.5 million Americans in 2006 (Institute of medicine, 2006).
The medical profession has been around since the beginning of mankind. It most likely started with women who were warm-natured and nurturing from tribes. Amazingly, we have advanced all the way to professional physicians and many other careers in the field of medicine. Although not actual laws, medical ethics are strict guidelines that most professionals follow. Health professionals most follow ...
These errors include a physician prescribing a medication that has a negative reaction with another medication that a patient is currently taking. Another error is causes by pharmacist dispensing the wrong medication because they could not properly read the handwriting on a prescription, or prescribing a dose that is too high for the patient’s current age or condition. Majority of the problems responsible for medication errors can be solved with e-prescribing. Once a physician prescribes a medication the e-prescribing system automatically checks for conflicting medications, patient allergies and other conflicts, by using the patient’s medical history as well as current and past medications list. The e-prescribing system will then notify the physician as to what is has found and why that medication cannot be safely prescribed to that specific patient. This allows the physician to explore other medication options.
Some e-prescribing technology even checks if the medication is available at the pharmacy that the patient has listed in the account. Someone who is sick surely does not want to be searching all over town for a pharmacy to get their medication at. Pharmacist also use e-prescribing technology and if it is possible that an error has made it past the physician’s office the information will be double checked at the pharmacy. E-prescription software is saving lives and preventing mistakes left and right!