New York City – New York authorities gave doctors until March 27 to start using online prescriptions and cast aside handwritten notes. It is not a suggestion. Doctors that ignore the order could face fines, license loss and jail.
People have been relying on doctor’s notes for a long time. It is a tradition and it is a solid system yet not perfect. The United States Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) reported that messy writing causes some of the medication errors that kill at least one person per day and injure 1.3 million nationwide each year. In addition, handwritten notes have been in use for way too long. People have found hundreds of ways to forge them and gain access to controlled drugs. A quick google search will give you a lot of information on how to forge a prescription.
In 2014, Stacey Bailey was charged with 257 criminal counts for forging prescription notes. He used the notes to get money from the Medicaid system with friends and family participating in the felony.
Online notes might solve a lot of problems. It is also simpler for the user as you only have to go to the pharmacy and they will have your medication. However, a lot of doctors claim that making it mandatory is not necessary and may be problematic. With a paper prescription, a person can go to many pharmacies looking for the most convenient price, but with online prescriptions, people will have to ask the doctor to reissue the note or the pharmacy to redirect the order. Nonetheless, New York has set a deadline and health professionals will have to use online notes almost all the time. There are some exceptions, for emergencies, a hand-written note or approval by phone is allowed. For professionals that rarely use them, there may not be any consequences.
There are a lot of states around the country using online prescriptions, but only New York and Minnesota apply penalties to doctors that use written notes.
Source: Yahoo News