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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Do You Have any Medication Allergies?

Stupid is as stupid does.
We always ask for any allergies to medications when patients drop off prescriptions. Why? Just to annoy them and take longer to fill their prescriptions? As a sort of pop quiz? Just to watch them squirm and get that far-off, deep-in-thought look in their eyes? Of course!
The responses we get are either "they're on file" or "I can't remember" followed by "why do you always ask me?". Well, last time you were here, you got a new medication. Perhaps you developed an allergy to it. Perhaps you made an ER visit where they administered something to which you were allergic. I don't know. All I know is I need to have the most current information on file to do my job. The only person who can supply that, is you. Therefore...the reason we ask every day.
Does your doctor ask for current insurance information at each visit? And do you whine about it?
Does your doctor ask for your current med list with each visit? And do you bitch about it?
Does your doctor verify your address? Or pharmacy of choice with each visit? (If not, they should.)
Why complain about what people are required to do in order to do their jobs?
The other reason, is to verify what someone else may have mistakenly added to your chart.
An office, that specializes in pain and its management, uses a prescription program that lists the patient's allergies on each prescription. This is distracting, but is also helpful...Unless they don't make sense. The allergies listed, by the doctor's office, for one patient were: ANCETS, ENDOSYN, and PERIDYIM. I know what they should be. Shouldn't someone in that office be responsible for ensuring accuracy? What use is an allergy list if not one of those is spelled correctly? What use is it if it makes no sense? We asked the patient (due diligence) and were given almost the same list, verbatim. We verified the specific medications and reactions and updated our file. Remember, the information is only as good as what is entered. Garbage in equals garbage out, right? This goes along with the office staff that call in nonsensical gibberish as drug names and respond with "well that's what the patient said she was taking or that's how she spelled it to me". How about your own due diligence? Ask a follow up question, check the chart, know what you are calling in, know what you are adding to the chart. It's not as if a severe allergic reaction could kill a patient or anything, right?

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