Technology in the Pharmacy

I love when technology makes life easier.  New processes and inventions come along that are so much better that nobody would dream of returning to the old way of doing things.

Bulldozers and other earth moving equipment took the place of wheelbarrows & shovels for building roads.  Executive secretaries now run word processing software on a computer instead of generating letters using typewriters and carbon paper.  Doctors offices use a scheduling database instead of the old giant scheduling books.  Western Union doesn’t have much call for telegrams now that phones are so common.  New, efficient technology replaces the old, and people are happy to make the switch because it makes their lives so much easier.

That said, I don’t think we’re there yet with e-scripts.  The general concept with electronic prescriptions is that when a doctor writes a script, that information is simultaneously sent to the pharmacy and entered in a patient’s medical record.

If pharmacists and doctors were all ecstatic over how e-scripts solve a bunch of problems and make their lives easier, maybe I’d re-think my position.  They’re not, though, so I’d rather hand-carry my prescription to the pharmacy.

  1. I know it gets to the right place if I deliver the prescription myself.
  2. I know what the prescription says if I have it in my hand.
  3. I can keep a copy for my records and can refer back to it if the instructions on the bottle of pills that I’m given doesn’t match up to what the doctor told me to take.
  4. I can tell the pharmacist when I still have half an old bottle left, so he doesn’t need to fill this new prescription from a different doctor until the old bottle is gone.
  5. The pharmacist doesn’t need to do the work of filling meds I can get OTC if the prescription is for something that’s available both ways.

Doctors can still enter prescriptions into their computerized records.  It’s simple to print the prescription instead of sending it to the pharmacy wirelessly:  same result from the doctor’s point of view, better results from mine.