Doctors have horrible handwriting, but who knew it was dangerous? Handwritten opioid prescriptions have more mistakes, study finds

opioids e1475078855338 - Doctors have horrible handwriting, but who knew it was dangerous? Handwritten opioid prescriptions have more mistakes, study finds
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A study has revealed that a physician’s illegible handwriting may well affect the accuracy of opioid prescriptions and compromise patient safety.

opioids e14750788553381617857774 - Doctors have horrible handwriting, but who knew it was dangerous? Handwritten opioid prescriptions have more mistakes, study finds

As part of the study, a team of researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has reviewed numerous opioid prescriptions for patients 18 years and older. The prescriptions have been processed at an outpatient pharmacy for 15 consecutive days in June 2016.

The experts have evaluated a total of 510 prescriptions based on three criteria. One criterion has assessed the physicians’ adherence to best practice guidelines for prescription writing, which focuses on legibility and date and pill quantity. Another criterion looked at the presence of at least two patient identifiers such as electronic health record (EHR) number, Social Security number, and date of birth. The last criterion focused on compliance with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) rules on controlled substance prescription. (Related: America’s opioid epidemic is killing so many people that medical examiners can’t keep up with the body count.)

“Inconsistencies in opioid prescribing remain common. Handwritten prescriptions continue to demonstrate higher associations of errors, discrepancies, and variation from ideal practice and government regulations. All computer-generated prescriptions adhered to best practice guidelines and contained two patient identifiers, and all EHR prescriptions were fully compliant with DEA rules,” the researchers report in the Journal of Opioid Management website.

Handwritten prescriptions fall short on accuracy, compliance

The findings show that up to 92 percent of handwritten prescriptions have fallen short on accuracy and compliance with ideal opioid prescription practices and policies. According to the results, 42 percent of handwritten prescriptions contained some forms of error. The results also reveal that 89 percent of prescriptions written by hand did not follow ideal practice guidelines and are missing at least two types of patient identifiers. In contrast, none of the prescriptions generated by EHRs contained these errors. The study has also found that up to 47 percent of handwritten prescriptions failed to meet the DEA’s standard.

“Mistakes can be made at any point in the prescribing, transcribing, processing, distribution, use and monitoring of opioids, but research has rarely focused as we have on prescribing at the time of hospital discharge or on written prescriptions prescribed for adults. There are the normal legibility issues you would suspect with a handwritten prescription, but we also commonly found things like missing patient identification information and errors in abbreviations…What we hope our results do is get more practitioners to adopt electronic prescribing systems because we have a duty to practice in a way that has the lowest chance of harm to our patients,” lead author Dr. Mark Bicket states in a press release.

Erroneous opioid prescriptions may be contributing to the worsening opioid overdose crisis in the U.S. In fact, an entry featured on the National Institute on Drug Abuse website reveals that more than 90 Americans die every day due to opioid misuse and overdose. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also projects that prescription opioid misuse costs the U.S. a total economic burden of up to $78.5 billion annually. The CDC adds that these economic burdens cover health care costs, productivity loss, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.

Sources include:

HopkinsMedicine.org

WMPLCC.org

DrugAbuse.gov

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My grandmother was a herbalist. She taught me how to mix herbs to cure ailments. I grew up with her from the age of 15 years old. I was going to school  and at the same time returned to her shop of herbs learning different kinds of mixture of herbs and also their names. I have been involved in herbal mixture and I also used it to cure a lot of people who orthodox medicine could not cure even though a lot of people have abused herbal medicine. Selling herbal mixture, popularly called agbo, has also been a great source of income to me and my family. Why I Started This Home Remedies Blog As an educated herbalist , i have been into these work for some years now which  I have help so many peoples. One good-day  i thought about people who are not benefit from these like those outside the Nigeria or peoples who are shame  to seek for a herbalist. Then i decides to create a website so as they can contact me and i would gladly help them. I began this blog in 2017 out of a desire to share my passion for herbs and natural living with others. Above all, am a Muslim and am thankful for the daily love and grace Allah bestows me. I’m glad you’ve visited me here at my home on the web and hope you will join me as I continue down the road to healthier living and my mission to help peoples across the nation! Let’s Connect I would love to connect with you!  Feel free to subscribe to receive free regular post updates in your inbox!  Also, you can find me on facebook, twitter,

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