Experts Warn Against Physicians Texting Prescriptions to Pharmacies

Given the prevalence of smartphones in today’s society, as well as the fact that doctors entering the medical field today are much more likely to be tech-savvy than ever before, it is no surprise that some doctors are relying on text messaging to deliver prescriptions to pharmacies. However, some experts are concerned that prescriptions that are sent in by text message may result in a higher overall rate of pharmacy errors.

According to a recent industry news report, while texting provides some potential benefits to physicians and pharmacists alike, the medical field is not yet prepared to safely implement the practice. The article outlines several errors that are more likely to occur when a physician texts – rather than calls, faxes, or electronically submits – a prescription.

First, physicians who use text messaging to submit a prescription bypass all clinical decision-making support offered by electronic-prescribing systems. Electronic-prescribing systems show providers relevant portions of a patient’s medical record and alert prescribers to a potential adverse reaction as well as the possibility of a better-suited medication.

Second, there is a genuine concern that physicians who rely on texting to send prescriptions could be distracted by incoming phone calls or text messages. This could result in the prescriber forgetting to submit a prescription, or mixing up prescriptions after taking a call or answering a text.

Third, text messaging will likely result in less accurate use of medical terminology. For example, most phones will not recognize the standard abbreviations used by physicians and pharmacists. Thus, a physician must rely on manual-entry rather than predictive text. Experts are concerned that a physician’s social texting habits could result in confusion when used in the medical context. Additionally, there is the risk that a properly entered abbreviation will be auto-corrected to a word or phrase that the user’s phone recognizes.

Finally, when a physician texts in a prescription, a nurse must transcribe the prescription before it is filled. This, experts argue, creates just one more opportunity to make a mistake in a system that is rife with potential for error.

Liability in Pharmacy Error Cases

When a patient is provided the wrong pharmacy, there can be several potentially liable parties depending on the specifics of the error. A dedicated Maryland pharmacy error attorney can help those who have suffered after being provided the wrong medication, wrong dose, or been provided with the wrong instructions on how to take the medication.

Have You Been the Victim of Pharmacy Error?

If you or a loved one has recently been the victim of a Maryland pharmacy error, you may be entitled to monetary compensation through a Maryland medical malpractice or pharmacy error lawsuit. The dedicated Maryland personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC offer comprehensive representation across all areas of medical malpractice and personal injury law. We also represent clients who have been harmed by dangerous drugs or recalled medication. To learn more, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation today. Calling is free, and we will not collect any fee for our work unless you are able to obtain the compensation you deserve for the injuries you have sustained.

More Blog Posts:

Three Common Causes of Prescription Errors in Maryland and Nationwide, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, September 24, 2018.

Medication Alert: Blood-Pressure Medication Recall, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, September 3, 2018.

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