Doctors, down pencils

KATIE KENNY
Last updated 17:30 20/06/2013

Relevant offers

Health

No toilets, locked up and forcibly medicated, claims lawyer Helensville District Health Trust puts family first Marlborough Primary Health Organisation prepares business case for new GP practice and daytime urgent care centre Burns victim scores spot in positive body model search Auckland Council drops sugary drinks from vending machines at leisure centres Terminally-ill police officer at centre of massive fundraising effort dies Maia Health hits $2.2m of $5.2m fundraising target Fluoride off health board agenda until legislation passed Fluoride could become DHB election issue Canterbury Charity Hospital founder Phil Bagshaw slams Government data on unmet need

A computerised solution to bad handwriting on prescriptions is being touted as a lifesaver, at a cost of $17 million to taxpayers.

Instead of scribbling notes on pads, doctors will now enter prescriptions into specialised software.

"Electronic prescribing eliminates the risk of errors such as typing in the wrong patients' name and unreadable writing. It also alerts doctors to potential medication errors, such as under or overprescribing," Health Minister Tony Ryall said.

The Ministry of Health has signed a $17m contract to use the web-based solution to manage medication.

All 20 district health boards (DHBs) would have access to the technology, Ryall announced this week.

The software for prescribing, pharmacy review, drug administration and clinical decision-making is already used in hospitals in Australia and Britain.

It was trialled at Dunedin Hospital last year, with medical director of IT Southern DHB Dr Andrew Bowers saying it could save 75 lives annually.

Southern, Taranaki, Waitemata DHBs were using the e-prescribing system and all DHBs would have it within the next couple of years, Ryall said.

An Australian hospital using the system reported a 57.5 per cent reduction in prescribing errors and a 44 per cent drop in serious medication errors.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should fluoride in water be the responsibility of central government?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content