34. Pharmacists’ Access to Patients’ Information

There should be a statewide or even a nationwide computer databases that can be accessed within seconds by any pharmacy within that jurisdiction, or at least within five minutes at most, so that customers who happen to go to a different pharmacy, but still within the state or country, wouldn’t be required to wait 15-30 minutes so that the pharmacies can transfer the customer’s records before any prescription medicines can be transacted.

Furthermore, pharmacists should be allowed access to a patient’s full medical records and information so that the pharmacist could better serve the patient. Access to such records would allow pharmacists to reduce the likelihood of prescription errors and better inform the patient about possible drug interactions.

“Prescriptions are an extension of a patient’s medical records and [pharmacists should have access to that person’s] critical information, including diagnosis, age, and weight” and perhaps other parameters. All this information should be kept confidential, of course. (Henri R. Manasse, Jr. USA Today 7-23-03)

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