Sticky Facts From Your Pharmacist, Don't Treat without all the Facts!

Have you ever gotten the strangest messages from your insurance, or your pharmacy, or your gyno? Hopefully it doesn't happen often, but there are so many automatic triggers within the ever growing computer systems that programs designed to help you may just perplex you. Take the patient who asked me why she was getting electronic messages about things to do to control her blood pressure. She wondered had she tested abnormal in the office and just didn't know it? When pharmacists see drug combos that look like a patient has a certain diagnosis then it's so tempting to treat the patient. I received an electronically generated communication from a patient's pharmacy telling me I should consider placing the patient on a potent antihypertensive medication. So I electronically pulled up her BP graphs, and her blood pressure was 112/70 the last time she was in, and in fact, all her blood pressures were excellent. But she does take medication for PCOS that might look like in fact she has diabetes or hypertension. So I guess that was the electronic trigger for the message. Not a horrible system, but yet, a system that could be potentially harmful as well. We have to remember, the sticky truth is that we are treating the patients, not the chart! And it doesn't take a village, it takes a coordinated village, not necessarily a problem the newest changes in medicine will fix but hopefully we will make progress! Now, that we've established no diabetes, sticky bun anyone?


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