These are the thoughts of a cantankerous ol' gynecologist who remembers when things were a little different. I try to find a little humor in my life and the people I meet along the way. Come meet the characters in my world.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Electronic Medical Record Rant 1

The Computer is NOT Always Right

The gobment wants us to use the electronic medical record (EMR).  They say it makes everything easier.  They want us to prescribe medications through the computer.  They even pay Medicare providers more if they do this.  We are trying to be good little followers. 

It’s not working.

Yesterday, I checked on a medication I wanted to use.  It is still listed in the computer version of the PDR – or all the drugs that are currently made.  OK.  It is also listed in the formulary in my EMR.  I clicked on it and sent it through the internet. 

This morning promptly at 8 AM, the patient called.  Her husband picked up her prescription.  It wasn’t the medication we talked about.  She had gotten it before.  This looked totally different etc. 

The pharmacy didn’t open until 9 AM.  I called, went through the menu, and spoke to the chipper pharmacy assistant.  She referred me to the equally chipper pharmacist.  I’ll start calling pharmacies at 9:00 from now on.  They are really zippy that early.

The pharmacist told me that the medication was off the market.  That’s why I had checked all those places.  Usually if a medication is discontinued, it is marked that way, both in the formulary and in the drug reference.  I thought it had been discontinued over a year ago, which is why I checked.  I know I can’t trust my brain.  It turns out I can’t trust my computer, either.

Electronic Medical Record – 0

Electronic Prescriptions – 0

Real People – 1

Sometimes the old way is better.

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