DEA Paper Chase on Prescriptions Delays Medications to Patients in Nursing Homes – Hope Their Infrastructure And/ or Trust
Posted Mar 23 2010 10:22pm
The DEA has been very slow to adopt e-prescribing as a real method of prescribing the drugs they have the responsibility for with enforcement. Like every other government department I am guessing they are in the middle of some serious upgrades, the left over problem from the past administration that lived in “tech denial” and saw little value for technology.
I can’t imagine otherwise wanting to enforce chasing paper when an business intelligence program can monitor and do the work for you It also hacks off those doctors who are presently e-prescribing as they have to set the computer down and take out the “old paper”. Boy some idea die hard. It’s ok to get all your personal information etc. on your IPhone, but gee, to be efficient and have that functionality to better do your job, well do we have to think about that one.
Does the DEA realize there’s not a physician on premise at nursing homes all the time? In the meantime with this political paper chase, patients suffer with delays in getting their medications. Gee why not start an e-prescribing pilot for nursing homes?
Back in Boston there is one hospital doing a small pilot with the DEA and there is clearance for one DEA exemption using e-prescribing and the Hospital CEO of Beth Israel along with many others in 2008 signed a letter urging Congress to accelerate the use of e-prescribing. It has a lot better auditable trail than does paper. Ok now that was 2 years ago and what progress has been made here, obviously not enough as patients are still stuck not getting their medications. The ER room needs access to e-prescribing too by all means. BD
A Senate panel will hear complaints on Wednesday from nursing home operators, doctors, nurses and pharmacists that a Drug Enforcement Administration narcotics crackdown has left seriously ill patients crying for pain relief.
The D.E.A. says it is merely enforcing the law that requires pharmacies to wait for prescriptions that are signed by physicians before dispensing potent painkillers like Vicodin, Percocet and morphine.
Now many of the nation’s nursing homes report delays of a day or more in getting pain drugs to patients, according to the Quality Care Coalition for Patients in Pain, a group set up by nursing home operators, pharmacists and nursing groups.
Since last year, though, the D.E.A. has tried to crack down on the nurses’ shortcut and taken action against some pharmacies in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Virginia that the agency accused of dispensing painkillers without having prescriptions in hand.
Industry officials say the D.E.A. enforcement arose from a case in Ohio last year where a doctor complained about a nurse’s giving an opiate to a dying patient without the doctor’s knowledge and permission.