As part of our medication reconciliation quality project, we routinely review medications given to our patients. Here are some tips that prescribers can use to write clearer and safer prescriptions.

  1. Only use “see instructions” if entering a complex dosing regiment such as a taper or varying doses throughout the day. Using “see instructions” removes dose range checking and other safety features and should NOT be used for discrete dosing
  2. Check that a drug is available before using “non-formulary.” This removes all dose range, drug-drug, and drug-allergy testing if used.
  3. We see many duplicates in patient medication lists. Check for the existence of a medication before prescribing another one.
  4. Per the ISMP (Institute for Safe Medication Practices), users should NOT use range doses (e.g. take 1-2 pills as needed). Instead, prescribe the recommended dose for most situations, and in the special instructions, add language such as “may take 2 pills for severe symptoms.”
  5. If contacting a family by phone, email or portal to change a prescription, remember to change the dosing information in the medication list.