pharmacist

Nostalgic Pharmacists Yearn for Good ‘Ole Days of Illegible Doctors’ Prescriptions

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NEW ORLEANS, LA – Though pharmacists appreciate the progress that has been made with electronic health records (EHR) and e-prescriptions over the past two decades, many admit they kind of miss the good ‘ole days of illegible doctors’ prescriptions and the excitement and mystique of not knowing what any given prescription might say or read.

pharmacist“Today, prescriptions are legible because they’re printed by computers in easy-to-read fonts,” explained pharmacist Dominick Lowell.  “BORING!  I miss deciphering a doctor’s horrific handwriting.  The thrill of wondering.  Does it say insulin or penicillin?  Does it say 0.25 or 250 mg?  What’s this doctor’s name?  Is it a he or she?  This can’t possibly be the DEA number, can it?  There’s no confusion now.  Insulin clearly reads insulin.  Doses are crisp.  It’s so predictable and, frankly, boring.”

“Computer prescriptions have really helped cut down on medication errors and complications from those medication errors,” explained pharmacist Tammy Watson.  “BORING!  I miss calling four or five other colleagues trying to help figure out what something said.  You know, playing ‘Guess the Script.’  Teamwork!  And if we couldn’t figure it out, it was great to call the doctor and put a voice to the gibberish.  But since these prescriptions are so straight forward now, there’s no more teamwork, no interaction with doctors.  It’s just not the same.”

Pharmacists cite another reason for the nostalgia.  Back then, with evidence that every single physician on the planet had illegible handwriting, there was this feeling of awe in the world of pharmacy of how all these illiterate doctors became doctors in the first place since they wrote names, medications, and numbers using lines and other confusing figures instead of using the more commonly-used shapes called letters and numbers.

“Electronic health records have destroyed that completely,” said Lowell with a sad-tinge in his voice.  “Sigh…”

Though the good ‘ole days have been replaced with efficient, safer, but boring computer systems, Watson is still grateful for one thing that electronic records will never, ever be able to replace: interns.  Those darn good ‘ole interns.

“I’ve seen some amazingly off-the-wall prescriptions from interns, in particular July and August interns,” said Watson, laughing and giggling.  “These interns are so creative with their medication misspellings, fictional doses, and infinite refills.  My favorite prescription to this day was for over-the-counter baby aspirin to be taken daily.  The prescription was written for 1 total tablet only with 30 refills each month.  A true prescription classic!”

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  • Avatar
    Tracy Soderquist

    Horrific I tell ya !!! Lol

  • Avatar
    Lisa Chamberlain

    The horrors of penmanship!

  • Avatar
    Tracy Soderquist

    Lisa … Lol

  • Avatar
    Ian Hollis

    I was actually damn good at deciphering the correct name and dose.

  • Avatar
    Anthony Robinson

    Nam Nguyen

  • Avatar
    Conni Errickson Miller

    Now we get a random Dilaudid order on a patient with a CO2 of 100.

  • Avatar
    Karen Townley

    I know it is satire…..

  • Avatar
    Kim Thurston

    Gina Gatten Thot you would relate!

  • Avatar
    Aaron Lime

    Rose LimeMimi LeLinda Nguyen

  • Avatar
    Aaron Lime

    Rose LimeMimi LeLinda Nguyen

  • Avatar
    Allison Kirkner

    Ian Hollis

  • Avatar
    Jon Halterman

    Don’t get your hopes up. There are still plenty of errors. Now we can just read them.

  • Avatar
    Jon Halterman

    Don’t get your hopes up. There are still plenty of errors. Now we can just read them.

  • Avatar
    Scott Gambling

    Thanks, San. I remember a Tramadol that looked like Temodol. :o

  • Avatar
    Scott Gambling

    Thanks, San. I remember a Tramadol that looked like Temodol. :o

  • Avatar
    Katrina Fishler Hammel

    I have GREAT handwriting. Bring back paper charts!!!!

  • Avatar
    Katrina Fishler Hammel

    I have GREAT handwriting. Bring back paper charts!!!!

  • Avatar
    Jessica Smith

    Hehe I turn to mush when I get a hand written!! I cannot deal haha

  • Avatar
    Jeff Pugh

    The true joke is that we don’t actually get fewer errors – the errors just look more legitimate.

  • Avatar
    Megan Doughty

    Lol. I didn’t read the article yet, but I have plenty to keep me busy without having to decipher all day. Although I did have one handwritten one today that threw me for a loop. You would never have an illegible Rx : )

  • Avatar
    Robin Fahringer Mitchell Machajewski

    LOL! Poor little interns! Sometimes I miss working at a teaching hospital with all the little “Bambi” docs.

  • Avatar
    Robin Fahringer Mitchell Machajewski

    LOL! Poor little interns! Sometimes I miss working at a teaching hospital with all the little “Bambi” docs.

  • Avatar
    Nate Schneider

    Bob Cak, Liz Neels

  • Avatar
    Nate Schneider

    Bob Cak, Liz Neels

  • Avatar
    Robin Fahringer Mitchell Machajewski

    *forehead smack* “Satire”, dear.

  • Avatar
    Robin Fahringer Mitchell Machajewski

    *forehead smack* “Satire”, dear.

  • Avatar
    Michael Willert

    Brody Maack
    Mollie Huls Newman
    Kara VonderHaar

  • Avatar
    Michael Willert

    Brody Maack
    Mollie Huls Newman
    Kara VonderHaar

  • Avatar
    Dana Cherie

    It’s a joke

  • Avatar
    Dana Cherie

    It’s a joke

  • Avatar
    Kelly Mccormack Vassallo

    Awwwww come on… U don’t miss speculating on tamsulosin vs tamoxifen? Hydroxyzine vs hydralazine? Those were the good old days.

  • Avatar
    Karen Townley

    this is the worst…how can any one long for med errors related to docs horrible handwriting

  • Avatar
    San Upp

    Scott :D

  • Avatar
    Julian Castaneda

    Natasha Weiner

  • Avatar
    Angela Rini Wilson

    Robin Lee. It’s not my place to respond.

  • Avatar
    Laurie Williams Hiebert

    Lol !

  • Avatar
    Erica Nickeson Haake

    What do you think Megan Doughty?

  • Avatar
    Erica Nickeson Haake

    What do you think Megan Doughty?

  • Avatar
    Erica Nickeson Haake

    What do you think Megan Doughty?

  • Avatar
    Erica Nickeson Haake

    What do you think Megan Doughty?

  • Avatar
    Erica Nickeson Haake

    What do you think Megan Doughty?

  • Avatar
    Erica Nickeson Haake

    What do you think Megan Doughty?

  • Avatar
    Juliet Smith

    Jessica Smith

  • Avatar
    Juliet Smith

    Jessica Smith

  • Avatar
    Juliet Smith

    Jessica Smith

  • Avatar
    Juliet Smith

    Jessica Smith

  • Avatar
    Juliet Smith

    Jessica Smith

  • Avatar
    Juliet Smith

    Jessica Smith

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