How Often Do Pharmacy Errors Occur When Doctors Send Handwritten Prescriptions?
You may have spent a long time picking out a pediatrician for your child based on their views on vaccinations or their location to your home, or maybe you received a recommendation from your friends or neighbors about a doctor who they believe to be great. While it is best to find a pediatrician for your child based on great referrals and reviews, there are some other things that can make a difference in the health and safety of your son or daughter.
One of the main questions you should ask your pediatrician when meeting him or her is whether or not he or she uses handwritten prescription orders. It is known that doctors’ messy handwriting has been the cause of many medication errors that have adversely affected children. For this reason, many doctors have switched over to use preprinted prescription order sheets or electronic prescriptions.
According to a study in Pediatrics journal, researchers believe that sending prescription orders to the pharmacy, instead of giving a patient a handwritten order, has reduced prescribing errors by 27 to 82 percent. This statistic alone makes it very important for parents of children to not only pick out a great pediatrician for their kids, but to make sure the pediatrician enters their child’s prescription in a computer instead of handing a handwritten order to them.
Additionally, parents should also ask their child’s pediatrician if their computer software includes diagnostic criteria, clinical guidelines, and medication reminders. If a pediatrician is using this type of system when prescribing medication, it could reduce child pharmacy errors. To make sure other children you know don’t become a victim of prescription error, we encourage you to share this information on Twitter.