Hospital pharmacies have a place [Letter]

January 03, 2014

Having been a nurse for 48 years, I know that in the past when patients were discharged from the hospital or emergency room they were given a small supply of medication to take home with them until they could get their prescriptions filled. I am not sure when the policy changed, but I am sure it is about cost control and possibly an insurance issue rather than the hospital policy itself.

Patients must now have their prescriptions filled at a pharmacy, no matter what time they are discharged. Sometimes they may be faxed, but if the pharmacy is not open there could be a delay of up to 12 hours before the patient can continue the medication.

If the prescription authorizes narcotics for pain, the hard copy must be carried to the pharmacy and the patient must be present in person to show a photo identification, thus interfering with pain control. It seems the process is no longer about the care of the patient or patient satisfaction.

Marylu Silbergeld, Baltimore

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