Saturday, June 16, 2012

Doctors' sloppy handwriting kills

From: Bob M.
Sent: June 16, 2012
To: undisclosed recipients
Subject: Fw: Doctors' sloppy handwriting kills
Doctors' sloppy handwriting kills
Doctors' sloppy handwriting kills more than 7,000 people annually.

Many such errors result from unclear abbreviations and dosage indications and illegible writing on some of the 3.2 billion prescriptions written in the U.S. every year.

A coalition of health care companies and technology firms will launch a program Tuesday to enable all doctors in the U.S. to write electronic prescriptions for free.
"Thousands of people are dying, and we've been talking about this problem for ages.

We have the technology today to prevent these errors, so why aren't we doing it?"

Well doctors haven't invested in the needed technology, so it's being provided to them now

Although some doctors have been prescribing electronically for years, many still use pen and paper.

By providing doctors with free tools and support—and perhaps a little prodding from the big insurers who pay the bills—the NEPSI alliance hopes to encourage a quickening in adoption of electronic prescribing.

Automation should eliminate many of the errors that occur when pharmacists misunderstand or misrecord medication names or dosages conveyed messily on paper or hurriedly by phone.

Wider adoption of e-prescribing could lead to further efficiency in medical record keeping, which many believe is vital to both improving health care delivery and lowering costs.

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