Call for Use of Handheld Prescribing Technology

Author: Monica Preboth
Date: Oct 1, 2000

In a new discussion paper, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) calls for the widespread use of handheld prescribing technology as a way to prevent dangerous medication errors that result from illegible handwritten prescriptions. The recently published discussion paper, titled "A Call to Action: Eliminate Handwritten Prescriptions Within 3 Years," urges the health care community and everyone in public policy circles to help implement widespread use of the handheld prescribing technology by 2003.

The ISMP discussion paper provides an overview of the benefits, drawbacks and cost and technology considerations of using handheld technology to address prescribing errors. The paper also includes references, a resource list and suggested additional reading.

This 12-page discussion paper is the first in a series of educational "White Papers" that are being issued by the ISMP to address various topics on medication error prevention.

The ISMP is a nonprofit organization that provides independent review of medication errors reported through the United States Pharmacopoeia Medication Errors Reporting Program. Through this program, health care professionals can confidentially report actual and potential medication errors by calling 800-23-ERROR (800-233-7767).

For more information on the prevention of medication errors, write to the ISMP, P.O. Box 328, Fulton, MD 20759-0328, or call 301-497-2375. The document will also be available on the ISMP Web site at

COPYRIGHT 2000 American Academy of Family PhysiciansCOPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group

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