Opinion

Sample logs not a hassle, rather they are a patient safety measure

LETTER — Posted Jan. 5, 2004

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Regarding "County exec: Insurer audits result in physicians not giving out samples" (Letters, Dec. 8):

While I can't comment about all requirements from a medical liability insurer during a medical office audit, I am surprised at the example described in the letter cited above.

While the individual physician at our medical center may dictate into the clinic chart note the information about samples given out, we also have always kept a written log for each physician. It includes a patient medical record number, the medication, the expiration date, and the lot number of the samples given.

That way, we can easily track the medication when the patient calls to tell us that "those little white pills really worked," but more importantly, we could rapidly track patients who received medication that is being recalled or has some sort of identified problem with a particular lot number.

It only takes a few seconds to record the information in a ledger as the samples are being given out.

To us, it isn't a "insurance paperwork requirement," but a patient safety measure.

Joan B. Krajca-Radcliffe, MD, Morris, Minn.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2004/01/05/edlt0105.htm.

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