Research shows ordering prescriptions through computer is more efficient

Prescriptions from doctors, with the exception of controlled substances, are usually ordered electronically. Carrie Combs, a pharmacist, says she used to have trouble reading prescription orders when they were all handwritten.

"You would see that just about every day. sometimes we would have to call the physician to verify that's what it actually said," said Combs.

Dr. Mitchell Wicker, of Hazard, says that sometimes even your own handwriting can be hard to make out.

"How many of us have written ourselves a note, pulled it out of our pocket and can't read it, because we're in such a hurry to write it?" Wicker said.

A recent study by the Journal of American Medical Informatics Association shows that ordering prescriptions through computer programs significantly cuts down on handwriting mistakes. However, some say this still has its faults.

"The biggest disadvantage that we've seen is sometimes the prescription doesn't come over when it's supposed to and therefore the patient has to wait longer than if they had the prescription in hand," said Combs.

Researchers say if more hospitals used computer programs, 50 million drug errors might be prevented each year.

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