Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor
To The Editor: In the Clinical Crossroads article1 about a woman who noticed a medication error, Dr
Bates neglected the initial key misstep—telephone refills—which
frequently allows medication errors to occur.
Telephone refills extend treatment regimens but suspend clinical evaluations.
This practice inhibits reassessments of compliance, adverse effects, and interactions
and also distances the prescribing physician's judgment and advice from the
therapeutic regimen. Physician decision making is often replaced by staff
members who understand convenience better than safe prescribing practices.
Teichman P. Reducing Medication Errors. JAMA. 2001;286(17):2091-2092. doi:10.1001/jama.286.17.2091