We talked about high-tech solutions to some of these problems, such as the use of electronic medical records (EMRs). An EMR will not make a bad doctor a good doctor, but it will make a good physician better.
An EMR is not necessary to improve patients’ safety, but it can help, particularly in the outpatient setting. For instance, it helps in ordering medication. The physician chooses a dose of medication from a menu so it has to be a dose that is actually available, making it impossible to inadvertently write 100 mg instead of 10 mg. Second, with an EMR, it is possible to instantly check hundreds, even thousands, of potential drug interactions.
The third thing—and possibly the most important—is that with an EMR, patients get a laser-quality prescription, which both they and the pharmacist can easily read.