Printouts to replace hand-written prescriptions in Bengal soon

Kolkata, July 1 (IANS) In a major boost to healthcare in West Bengal, the physician’s prescriptions will soon be generated electronically and printouts will replace hand-written instructions in medical facilities and hospitals run by the state.

With digitisation sweeping the nation, the state in its attempts to sync healthcare electronically, plans to introduce print-out versions of prescriptions that will bear the supervising doctor’s signature and designation to authenticate the drug dosages.

“We are planning to introduce the print-out format by the end of this year possibly. It needs huge infrastructure and it will take time. The prescription will be generated electronically and printouts will come into effect. However, the prescriptions will have to be authenticated by the doctor,” B.R. Satpathi, director of health services, told IANS.

“The signature will also aid in prescription audit later on,” he added.

Several private hospitals have the digital format in effect already, whereas state-run hospitals are yet to catch up.

“The load on a single doctor or physician is much greater than in private establishments. We have to keep that in mind also… the process can’t be initiated overnight. There are many more patients in government hospitals,” countered Satpathi.

He also said that a reminder has been sent to all medical units across the state to improve legibility of hand-written prescriptions.

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