Does Your Doctor Phone it In?

Earlier this month Philly.com asked pharmacists in the area if they had ever experienced problems when a doctor called in a prescription from a cell phone. More than 40% of pharmacists reported that they had experienced such problems and believe that the possibility of a medical error resulting exists.

Some of the problems cited by doctors using cell phones, particularly on weekends and after hours, included:

  • Difficulty hearing especially when the physician was in a noisy place.
  • Dropped calls.
  • Doctors calling in prescriptions without access to patient records and, thus, being unable to answer important questions about patient weight, drug allergies, etc.
  • Less documentation of prescriptions in the patient’s medical record.
  • Trouble verifying that the call is a doctor legally authorized to prescribe medicine.

As a patient, it is important to always double check your prescription when you pick it up and to ask questions of the pharmacist, and your doctor, if you have any questions or concerns.