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Thursday, December 12, 2013

I Need Some Clarity

Prescription: (noun) An instruction written by a medical practitioner that authorizes a patient to be issued with a medicine or treatment.

It says instruction. Its sole job is to tell me what the prescriber wants. It exists to convey the thoughts in the prescriber's head to my fingers to enter the instructions in the computer so I may properly explain to the patient what they are taking and how to take it.
Back in the days before e-prescribing, prescriptions were illegible so we called to verify them and the errors were those of omission. In today's electronic world, the errors are those of commission, but at least they are legible.
Since prescribers won't take the time to sit and actually learn how to use their programs, we get conversations like this one:
Slacking Ass Doctor: Why do you pharmacists keep calling me?
CP: Because your directions aren't clear.
SAD: Yes they are.
CP: No, they're not. You have 2 sets of directions on here. The first one, which I assume is the default, says "once a day", but at the end of the line it says "twice a day".
SAD: Didn't you read the whole thing?
CP: Yes. Clear as mud, which is why we pharmacists continue to harass you over this petty discrepancy.
SAD: "If I type something in the comments then that's obviously what I want. Ignore the first set of instructions. You should just know that." (actual quote)
CP: That's the whole point of the prescription: to communicate to me your exact intentions, not to convey ambiguity. If you'd learn how to use the program correctly, you'd cut down on the number of phone calls from the pharmacies. You might actually start to like us and thank us for saving your ass.
You must unlearn what you have learned about us. We do not exist simply to do thy bidding, master.

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