Medication and Technology

The New Age of Electronic Prescriptions is Here

Medication and technology are on the rise. Did you know 20% of doctors are using electronic prescriptions to prevent errors made in medication distribution? Barcodes can now be used to scan a patient’s wristband and administer the proper medication for that individual.
Although the thought of a computer keeping tabs on your prescription usage might leave you on edge, have no fear – it’s a far cry from HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Hospitals across the nation are seeing a dramatic decrease in errors through this technological development. In fact, Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville, TN reduced prescription errors by more than 95%. Despite the best efforts of rapidly progressing technology, inaccuracy is still possible.
Make sure to double check your name, barcode and social security number before any medication is administered. You are your best ally.

Medication Reconciliation

The system, which began in January 2006, makes it mandatory that patients give their entire medication history when they arrive at a hospital.

Be sure to know:
What medications you’re taking.
Why you’re taking them.
If you still need to be on them.

To help keep track of your medication rotation, create a checklist to follow.
Get vocal and ask your doctor specifically about your medications. Find out what food or beverage you should take with your medications and if there is something you should avoid while taking your medication. Ask your doctor about any adverse side effects you may experience as well. Bring along a third party patient advocate with you when speaking to your doctor or having medicine administered. This process will aid in avoiding errors and a lack of communication between patients and doctors.

credit: Christian Broadcasting Network