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davidtrump

Prescriptions : Patient Identifiers & Drug/Medication

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Prescriptions

A prescription is an order that is written by you, the physician (or medical student with signature by a physician) to tell the pharmacist what medication you want your patient to take. The basic format of a prescription includes the patient’s name and another patient identifier, usually the date of birth. It also includes the meat of the prescription, which contains the medication and strength, the amount to be taken, the route by which it is to be taken and the frequency. Often times, for “as needed” medications, there is a symptom included for when it is to be taken. The prescriber also writes how much should be given, and how many refills. Once completed with a signature and any other physician identifiers like NPI number or DEA number, the prescription is taken to the pharmacist who interprets what is written and prepares the medication for the patient. Let’s break it down.

Patient Identifiers

According to the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) national patient safety goals, at least two patient identifiers should be used in various clinical situations. While prescription writing is not specifically listed, medication administration is. I think prescription writing should be considered in this category as well. The two most common patient identifiers are full name and date of birth. These are the FIRST things to write on a prescription. This way you don’t write a signed prescription without a patient name on it that accidentally falls out of your white coat and onto the floor in the cafeteria.

Drug/Medication

This is an easy one. This is the medication you want to prescribe. It generally does not matter if you write the generic or the brand name here, unless you specifically want to prescribe the brand name. Remember, if you do want the brand name, you specifically need to tell the pharmacist – “no generics.” There are several reasons why you would want to do this, but we won’t get into that here. On the prescription pad, there is a small box which can be checked to indicate “brand name only” or “no generics

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