“Oops, I picked the wrong one.”

That’s not a phrase you want to hear a doctor say when you call up and ask if he really wanted $random-obscure-drug-that-no-one-has-ever-heard-of after he’s sent an e-prescription over to you from his fancy-schmancy new EMR. You know, the EMR that lists every single drug ever made from the beginning of time up until now, regardless of whether or not that drug still exists, and doesn’t use any sort of Bayesian analysis — yes, the same technology that sorts your email — to suggest your drug of choice based on past prescribing habits, or to sort drugs based on their probability of usage or (Heaven forbid!) to suggest that just MAYBE, doctor, you really wanted something else when you picked that whacko drug from the drop-down box.

So anyway, the bogus prescription was for extended-release lovastatin. Yeah, it really does exist, but hilariously enough, the prescribing doctor had never heard of it. And neither had the pharmacist, thankfully, because she might have ordered it, and then the patient would have gotten the wrong medication.

Christ, people. Proofread your goddamn prescriptions. To make sure that gibberish that your EMR spits out is REALLY what you want. And that you’ve actually heard of the drug you are prescribing. It ain’t rocket science, and even if it were, I’m sure you’d be equal to the task.

Yeah, yeah. We all make mistakes. Proofreading a friggin’ prescription shouldn’t be one of them. But yet, somehow, I see anywhere from 4-20 crap prescriptions Every. Single. Day. All because they weren’t proof-read before they were handed to the patient or sent to the pharmacy.

What’s the most fun part of all this is that when you get the doctor on the line, he cops an attitude because he thinks he’s the Second Coming of Christ even though he’s the bonehead who made the mistake. Get over yourself, dude. <Internet toughguy>I swear, one of these days, I’m going to drive to a doctor’s office and put my foot up someone’s ass.</Internet toughguy>

No, I don’t hate my job, but I do hate people sometimes. It gets tiresome saving other people’s bacon when all you get is grief for your troubles. Grief from the patient because the prescription took more than 30 seconds to fill (“Well, can you just fill it anyway?”), and grief from the doctor because you deigned to bother him.

And no, not all doctors are like this. Many of them are awesome, nice people. But just as the vocal minority often gives the silent majority a bad name, the types of doctors that are most likely to come to the phone themselves are the ones who want to pick a fight. And they often do everything in their power to make you feel like a piece of shit, even when they are in the wrong. Needless to say, that does neither themselves, nor their profession any favors. The same holds true for bad behavior no matter who you are, or what you do.

3 thoughts on ““Oops, I picked the wrong one.”

  1. Even worse are the patients who come in with somebody else’s prescription. Had that twice lats week- the receptionist at the Dr’s office had given the patient somebody else’s prescription. They had names that were not even slightly similar. But somehow the patent thought it was MY fault.

    I agree. Patients should always know what is on their prescriptions and what they are taking them for. None of this “They are little white ones and I don’t know why I take them” crap!

  2. Heh. I can’t say I’ve seen that very often. Maybe twice in the last 5 or 6 years?

    You must have patients with SERIOUS entitlement issues if they somehow think that this is your fault. The only times I’ve seen it, the patient has laughed, berated themselves for not reading the script before they take it, and going from there.

    Do you guys do automated refill requests? I could see that happening more if you make the patient go to the doctor to get a new prescription instead of automatically sending refill requests via fax/email.

  3. Just yesterday I had two scripts with wrong pt names on them. I think I’ve had two in the ten years I’ve been in pharmacy. E-rx, ugh what a mess. The biggest problem is doctors are not used to chosing from a list of drugs just writing it out so without failing they chose the wrong one. (Think verapamil plain, er, tablets, capsules)

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