1. We suffered a brief outage this morning when our host noticed that HTF needed to be moved to a different server due to a hardware failure. That work is now complete. Please post in the feedback area if you have any issues.
    Dismiss Notice

Doctor's handwriting and prescriptions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Patrick Sun, Jun 20, 2002.

  1. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1999
    Messages:
    38,677
    Likes Received:
    439
    Whenever I get sick enough that I feel the need to see the doctor, I have this fear that whatever the doctor prescribed for me will be misread by the pharmacy. Every time I read a doctor's prescription, I have no idea what was scribbled down on this small piece of paper, and wonder if people really get the medicine they were prescribed, or if it comes down to the pharmacist making educated guesses? Or do they call up the doctor's office and double-check? Anyhow, it sort of always spooked me when I got my prescription filled...
     
  2. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,352
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bad handwriting accounts for a large percentage of incorrect prescriptions and dosages. I also have the same fear. Because of this, I always ask the doctor what he/she is giving me so I can check the name with what's on the bottle. If I happen to forget the name the doctor told me, I consult with the pharamist by saying "this is for my strept throat, right?". I figure, at the very least, a competent pharmacist should realize something is wrong if he/she interpreted the scribbles as a heart medication.
     
  3. Tim Kilbride

    Tim Kilbride Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2001
    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    0
    My wife is a pharmacist...this is one of her biggest complaints. One of her biggest fears is filling a prescription with the wrong medicine. She could literally lose her liscense over one mistake...after 7 years of very expensive college, just because some guy can't take two minutes to take his time and write a 'legible' prescription.

    She has said though, that in the recent past, some doctors seem to be switching to a printed type presciption...to help cut down on fakes...


    Tim K.
     
  4. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 1999
    Messages:
    2,249
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's always been my theory that a good doctor will tell you what he is prescribing, how much, how often you should take it, etc.... If what you get at the pharmacy doesn't gel, you should be able to know right away.

    Bruce
     
  5. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 1999
    Messages:
    1,195
    Likes Received:
    0
    Many years ago I started printing all of my hand written notes, rather than writing in cursive script, mainly so I could read them. I write all prescriptions the same way, signing only my nane in script.
    Now, you think prescriptions are bad? You should try reading other Drs hand written treatment notes!
     
  6. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2000
    Messages:
    2,023
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Real Name:
    CJ Paul
    Yeah, a lot of Drs are using pre printed forms. My dermatologist uses a pre-printed checklist because he perscribes the same 25 meds 90% of the time. It has all the drugs listed and a column of dosage. The forms state that there is only 1 drug checked on each (so you cant just start checking off other drugs after its signed. Pretty easy to read. Also since he's prescribing mostly anti-biotics, there is a low risk of fraud. I'm not sure this method would work for Dr. who prescribe a lot of pain killer or something similar.
     
  7. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2000
    Messages:
    870
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  8. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2001
    Messages:
    1,523
    Likes Received:
    0
    i didnt know there are tons of doctors in this forum. i thought doctors dont enjoy home theater. ha!
     
  9. Mark Philp

    Mark Philp Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2001
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Syracuse, New York
    Real Name:
    Mark
    When I get a Rx refill, I always check it to see if it looks different from the last one. Just last month, one of my pills came in a different color, I call the pharmacy and it turns out they misread the Rx and gave me a smaller dose. I called my doctor, and he said that the dose would be ok ,but suppose it wouldn't be and I hadn't checked. Since every doctor's office must use a computer, I would think that it would be simple to print out a Rx.
     
  10. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 1998
    Messages:
    724
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hell one time my wife got a prescription refilled and I noticed later that night that the pills looked a little odd. I called the pharmacy and they gave us the wrong prescription. Instead of an antibiotic they gave her some kind of pill that destroys white blood cells, mainly for leukemia patients. Man that could have been bad if she had mistakenly taken them instead!
    Here is an article from today's washington post discussing problems with pharmacies.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2002Jun20.html
    Jeff
     
  11. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    1,232
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  12. ace peterson

    ace peterson Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2001
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm a pharmacist. It is easy to misread prescriptions, but most prescriptions are fairly standardized. If you can read the drug, you can usually make out the strength, directions, and so forth. If you know what you are looking for, it makes it easy. There is some educated guessing sometimes, but that doesn't happen often.
    There are electronic prescription pads now (like palm pilots) that the physician can fill out and fax into the pharmacy. In my experiences, most doctors are stubborn to change old habits. It takes more money and more time for most prescribers to use a palm pilot rather than quick scribbling out a script. And by the way, a study was done not so long ago that compared physician's handwriting to the general public's. There was no difference found what-so-ever between the two populations. People just don't know medical terms and medication names, etc, so they naturally say "I can't read it worth a hoot!"
    Like a previous poster stated, the best thing you can do to help yourself is ask questions. Ask the doctor what your getting and how it is going to work to help you. Also make sure your pharmacist consults with you when you pick it up. It is the law in Iowa and most states that a pharmacist must councel a patient whenever they get a new prescription. A good pharmacist will do that whether you expect it or not. I always show the pills to the patient and tell them a little about the medicine. I also give them a chance to ask any questions they might have and give them our phone number in case they think of any questions after they leave.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1997
    Messages:
    19,345
    Likes Received:
    291
    Real Name:
    Cees Alons
    That used to be a joke: when the young doctor's wife (fiancé) received a handwritten love-letter from him, she had to go to the pharmacist to have it deciphered.

    Now Ace is right, of course, that most perscriptions are rather standard. BTW are American perscriptions mainly in a standard form of Latin, like in my country? With terms like "dtd tabl. no. XXII" and "mf dipe" = "da talis dosis tabulae numero duoetviginta" and "misce facte, divide in partes equales" (this last one about a powder)?

    Cees
     
  14. Tim Kilbride

    Tim Kilbride Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2001
    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  15. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2001
    Messages:
    2,036
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm an RN. Prescriptions are just the tip of the iceberg. Physicians write treatment orders, progress notes, medication orders, etc. in patients' charts. It's not unusual to see 3 or 4 nurses hunched over a chart, working to decipher a handwritten order. I have seen entire entries written in such a manner that, upon close observation, I could not make out a single English-language letter.

    Whenever I'm in doubt, I don't hesitate to page the "writer" and make him (it's almost never a 'her') repeat the order to me. Unbelievably, some actually get snippy over the fact that a whole team of professionals cannot read their scratch.

    It would be amusing if it weren't such a serious matter with potentially dangerous consequences.

    Jon
     
  16. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2000
    Messages:
    870
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  17. ace peterson

    ace peterson Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2001
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  18. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2000
    Messages:
    1,313
    Likes Received:
    0
    There should be a federal law that require prescriptions to be in type or print. The only writing should be the doctor's signature and like many lawyers it will probably be illegible also. [​IMG]
     
  19. Jenna

    Jenna Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2002
    Messages:
    485
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  20. Heath_R

    Heath_R Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    My doctor has a computer and printer in each examining room that runs some custom software. He takes notes in it and it prints the script and information about your illness right there. He types like 90WPM so he is quick about it.
     

Share This Page