An electronic prescription processing option for electronic medical records can assist medical practitioners in the rapid selection, decision-making, processing and recording of individual prescriptions during encounters with patients in the consultation room or for repeat prescriptions. The applied thesaurus of prescriptions - the prescription formulary - is based on voluntary acceptance of local or regional selections of a limited range of prescriptions. They reflect the choices for the practitioners associated with encounters that are coded according to internationally accepted classifications. After the decision, the prescriptions are automatically checked on relevant interactions and accepted incompatibilities prior to authorisation and further transmission to the dispensing pharmacy. Supportive information, warnings and instructions are concomitantly and instantly available. The local digital prescription formularies that will likely differ regionally or nationally in the details of certain choices are synthesised from professional experiences, available objective and subjective information and documented evidence, and from consensus among collaborating practitioners. The process of achieving consensus in peer groups or professional forums may become supported by multiattribute matrix selection methods. The prescription processing program attempts to pursue an optimum selection of 3 or, when necessary, more prescriptions that generally meet the selection criteria for effective, safe and efficient treatment of the presented reason for the encounter at accepted costs. The first experiences appear to meet these objectives.
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