In Reply: Dr Strand suggests that all prescriptions
should include a duration and diagnosis. I agree regarding duration, although
diagnosis is more complicated. Every additional field that is added takes
time. In England, addition of the mandatory diagnosis field met with major
resistance from primary care providers who were using an electronic record.1 Nonetheless, inclusion of the diagnosis would be
highly desirable for all the reasons Strand mentions, especially for medications
with multiple indications. Our hospital now requires a diagnosis for certain
medications, such as ondansetron, for which the dosage varies by indication.
With drop-down lists and electronic prescribing, this should not be too onerous.
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