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Significance of Medicine Expiry Dates Allowing patients access to transcribed physicians’ visit notes in online portals could help increase proper medication usage.

Medical Transcription Services United States


The physician-patient relationship has undergone a huge transformation over the years. Earlier, physicians would spend time listening to the patient’s concerns and include them in the decision making, which is crucial for focused, efficient, and patient-centered care. However, today, with the introduction of electronic health record (EHR), communication between the doctor and the patient has reduced and the doctors spend their precious time on the computer documenting medical records rather than spending time it with the patients. A solution to this problem is the use of medical transcription services, which ensure that physician dictations is transcribed accurately and uploaded into EHR using HL7 interface. The role of the physician in curating medical information and customizing it for the patient is a key element in healthcare. The process of prescribing a medication is highly complex -- choosing of right drug, determining the dose, scheduling it appropriately for the patient’s physiological status, monitoring its effectiveness, educating the patients about the expected side effects, etc. Patients also often ask their physicians about drug expiration dates. Since 1979, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required that pharmaceutical companies put expiration dates on prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Some medicines such as insulin, nitro-glycerine and liquid antibiotics have active ingredients are known to become less stable over time, but many other drugs have a much longer shelf life than their packaging suggests. Lee Cantrell, director of the San Diego Division of the California Poison Control System says that many are not aware of this fact (www.livescience.com). Many years ago, Cantrell had a rare opportunity to examine an old stash of drugs including antihistamines, pain relievers and diet pills found in the back of a pharmacy. She found medication around 40 years old, way past their manufacturing date. Her findings were published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2012. Another study published by Cantrell shows that the expensive auto-injectors used to treat life-threatening allergic reactions retained 84 percent of their potency more than four years past their expiration dates. The federal government has a financial incentive to study the shelf life of drugs. The US maintains a stock of medicines that are needed for emergency cases like a terrorist attack or a disease outbreak. The FDA and the U.S. Department of Defense in 1986 started the Shelf-Life Extension Program (SLEP) to save on the costs of replacing expired drugs in this stockpile. A SLEP study in 2006 tested 122 different drugs are stored under ideal condition and the extended the expiration date of most of the drugs by an average of 4 years. This helped

www.medicaltranscriptionservicecompany.com

918-221-7809


them to save $2.1 billion. Some expired medications are at risk of bacterial growth and sub-potent antibiotics can fail to treat infections, leading to more serious illnesses and antibiotic resistance.

The FDA encourages people to bring their unused

medicines and to the National Prescription Drug Take Back

and expired

days hosted by the U.S.

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), in part to prevent abuse. In 2018 a record of 3.7 million pounds of unused and expired medicines were recovered. Hospitals are now investing in advanced technology and initiatives to help patient with their medication. This includes pharmacy-led phone calls to explain about drugs, apps that remind patient to take their medicines regularly, electronic prescribing for real-time monitoring, and monthly reports for doctors. This can increase adherence and minimize medication waste. Medical transcription outsourcing helps physicians upload visit notes to the EHR. Allowing patients access to these transcribed in online portals could help promote proper medication usage.

www.medicaltranscriptionservicecompany.com

918-221-7809

Profile for Medical Transcription

Significance of Medicine Expiry Dates  

Allowing patients access to transcribed physicians’ visit notes in online portals could help increase proper medication usage.

Significance of Medicine Expiry Dates  

Allowing patients access to transcribed physicians’ visit notes in online portals could help increase proper medication usage.

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