Prescription Records

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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One of the primary functions of an electronic drug management system is to organize and catalog the multitude of records that accrue in the course of a medical practice. Patient records are, of course, essential, for they reveal a patient's medical history, from vaccinations to surgeries. These records are the basis for the safe prescribing of medications during the patient's lifetime and must be accurate and complete.

When Doctors Must Keep Records

Doctors maintain thorough records in order to prescribe the appropriate medication for a patient when illness or medical problems arise. Without being able to consult a patient's history, a physician is risking serious consequences to the patient's health. The patient could suffer an adverse drug event, or die, which is what complete medical records are meant to prevent.

Physicians are required to maintain meticulous records about certain prescriptions also. Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs do not need a prescription, of course, but legend drugs do. These are drugs that may not be dispensed by a pharmacist without a prescription from a physician, dentist, osteopath, or other person licensed to practice medicine. Cold medications can be bought at a drug store, but buying antibiotics needs authorization from a physician before a pharmacist can provide them to a customer.

Labels on such medicines read: "Caution! Federal law prohibits dispensing without a prescription." Controlled drugs require special treatment, for extra precautions must be taken to ensure their safe storage. In addition, state and federal regulations govern the prescribing and dispensing of these drugs to ensure their proper medicinal use.


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