16 March 2009

The Pad

Before I start rambling again, the blitzkrieg of posts will begin now. I usually have an aim of 4 a month, but I'm clearly feeling a little behind (content-wise, not quantity) and once I start writing, I usually can't stop - something about crossing over the activation energy to get this ball rolling. Right.

There are few undeniable truths to life. Regardless of whether I would become a physician or not I always imagined that prescriptions would be written on a pad, and the doctor would hand you this piece of paper, which summed up years of training and some sort of a guarantee (or belief) that whatever's on that piece of paper would work for that ailment. It's symbolic! I'd call it "pre-treatment." Best not lose that piece of paper because there's some *important* stuff written on it!

Now, everyone is transitioning to EMRs. This one part in Tampa is going completely paper-less. Call me old fashioned (these last few days haven't helped) but I'd like to write my own prescriptions on a piece of paper, thank you. 'Authorizing' a pharmacy to dispense a medication isn't nearly as powerful as putting some semblance of that power in the patient's hands through a handwritten note.

It's like whenever I'd go to a doctor's office and near the end of my own rambling about my illness, he'd pull out that pad and scribble something illegible and say something like "I'm going to give you something for your strep throat."*

Now, it's "Which pharmacy would you like me to send this to?" and if the patient didn't know, he'd get a printed piece of paper with the medication clearly written on it, dosage and all.


They would all look the same If I wrote them on a piece of paper.

Actually, the real beauty of all this is that the pad is like a magical encryption tablet which only the doctor and the pharmacist (hopefully) can read. Do I really want my patients looking these drugs up on Wikipedia and asking me about all the dangerous side effects? (Most of them include DEATH, ironically, to be on the SAFE side)

Not to the extent most people take it, no. Trust me. You'll be fine. (I think..)

*: I had this a lot. Fuck streptococcus.
**: Random dosages. Real doctors, please don't get on my case.

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