Improving telephone communication with patients

Physician on telephone with patientTelephone communications with physicians, pharmacists, medical staff, and patients can result in miscommunication and lead to treatment and prescription errors. Anna Reisman, MD, and Karen Brown, MD, point out in their Journal of General Internal Medicine article that telephone communication may be error-prone because of technical issues and an absence of visual cues.

Continue reading

Should physicians disclose the risks of medications to patients—even if the risks are small?

Physician explaining risks of medication to patientPhysicians know that before a patient consents to a procedure, informed consent is a must. Patients need to know the details of the procedure, any alternatives, the benefits, the risks, and the possible complications (PABRC).

But what about the medications physicians prescribe? Continue reading

Working with patients for medication safety

Physician holding a handful of medication

Health care providers know that patient safety is a process that works best when patients and providers work together. In fact, a provider’s communication and engagement with patients remains a cornerstone of high-quality, safe care.

Continue reading

EHR case studies: The case of the EHR upgrade

iStock_000028779800LargeWebWhat care did the patient receive?

A patient with a history of rheumatoid arthritis contacted his longtime primary care provider with complaints of rash, dry skin, and swelling. The physician referred him to a rheumatologist and refilled the patient’s methotrexate prescription based on past prescriptions.

What happened next?

The physician didn’t know that data conversion during an EHR upgrade affected this patient’s prescription frequency data. Though the prescription should have been administered for 4/week, it was transmitted as 4/day.

Continue reading