New England Complex Systems Institute
238 Main Street Suite 319, Cambridge, MA 02142
Phone: 617-547-4100 Fax: 617-661-7711
Treating medical conditions is a complex procedure that involves an array of people with varying areas of expertise. To effectively coordinate the actions of these individuals without confusion, clear channels of communication are essential. With this in mind, NECSI is collaborating on a new prescription form with which we aim to improve communication in the healthcare community and help reduce medical errors.
The new form, while requiring the same information as most prescription forms, introduces an element of redundancy in much the same way personal checks require us to write the amount of money in both words and numbers. By prompting the physician to provide a few pieces of redundant data, we create two sets of information that can be checked against each other at every step -- from physician to pharmacist to nurse to patient. In this way, a little extra information is enough to reduce medical errors and dramatically improve communication. Our first step is to introduce redundancy to paper forms, and we eventually hope to incorporate the idea into electronic prescriptions as well.
You can find a prototype of the NECSI form below. NECSI welcomes suggestions and advice from the medical community. If you wish to comment, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Maya Bialik, Press Relations