What caregivers should know about the healthcare system and ageism.
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Speaker: American doctors write more than three billion prescriptions every year and to that, there are shrinking number of pharmacist and the growing number of medications and it becomes a risky equation. New technology is trying to tackle the problem and reduce prescription error. We take pills for our headaches, pills for backaches, pills for stomachaches. Last year American spend $221 billion filling prescriptions at local drug store. With doctors writing so many prescriptions and patients taking so many drug, what are the odds of something going wrong. Kathryn Wesling: There's just more prescriptions being filled year after year and we need to address that situation. Speaker: Prescriptions can be mis written by physician. Misread by pharmacist and misinterpreted by patients. Enter hi-tech health to keep everyone along that chain from making mistakes. Speaker1: Say ah! Speaker: Amy Waldron needs a prescription for bronchitis. Female Speaker: I usually have tolerating it and I depend on my pharmacist to decide for. Speaker: Instead of pen and pad doctors can now use computers to generate prescriptions. Speaker1: Everything is grouped together by diseases. Speaker: Compare one to the other, it's easy to see and read the difference. Speaker2: The name is clear, the drug is clear, the directions are clear. Speaker: The chance for error is reduced by one-third. And computer generated prescriptions are five times less likely to require pharmacist clarification. Kathryn Wesling: Can you get Flomax in? Speaker: Pharmacies too, are using new technology to prevent errors on their end. Automated filling machines are starting to appear in neighborhood drug stores. Kathryn Wesling2: And we wanted to ensure that we are putting the correct drug into the machine. There are safety features build in where we scanned the bar codes. And what I need to do is scan the cell, and then I need to scan the bottle and make sure that they match. Each one of the cassettes are numbered and they have a smart chip that helps to read that you have the correct drug. Speaker: It let's you know, if there's a mistake. Kathryn Wesling: And see it's telling me that it doesn't match. This is 10 milligram and I am suppose to be filling it with 5 milligram. Speaker: Since prescription bottles often look alike. Some pharmacies provide another way to keep patients from mixing up their medications. Color coded rings and easy to relabel distinguish drugs and are aimed at preventing the stakes once a patient gets home. Speaker3: We can just go through here and they are all up together. Speaker: Another advance in technology at Cincinnati children's hospital is this robot, which provides young patients with a source of distraction. Speaker4: I thought they did it by hand. Speaker: A medical personnel with a less worrisome of handling medications. Jack Horn: In pharmacy we can increase our accuracy one or two ways, we can either check things more or we can automate the process. Speaker: The IntelliFilliv automates the medication prep process. The machine can fill three hundred syringes in one hour or prepare a single dose for a single patient within minutes. Female Speaker3: It pulls the does out, puts it into a syringe, labels the syringe with all the patients information. Speaker: Medication errors account for 7000 hospital deaths a year. Jack Horn: We believe that this device when we start using in small capacity is a lot less likely to make an error than a human. Speaker: Hi-tech in the hospital, hi-tech in the pharmacy and hi-tech at home. Patients with access to the internet can also educate themselves about the medications they take. Kathryn Wesling: They come in with more questions for me, they are better informed, say, they are on five or six different medications they can enter all of those and have it, pull up if there are drug interactions. Speaker: But pharmacist have a warning. Kathryn Wesling: There's a lot of things that are being sold and toaded as cures