What are the advantages and disadvantages of the introduction of computers in pharmacy from the customer's point of view?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For the most part, the introduction of computers into pharmacies is a real help to customers.  However, there is at least one important way in which this can be a two-edged sword.

The major benefit that computers bring to customers is convenience.  Computers make the process of getting prescriptions submitted, filled, and refilled much simpler.  One example of this can be seen in the process of refilling a prescription.  In past times, a person would have to actually speak to a worker at the pharmacy.  You might have to wait until the person was available.  Customers at the pharmacy might have to wait while that worker took the information over the phone.  Either way, someone was likely to be inconvenienced.  Today, you can simply call in and give your information to a computer and have your prescription refilled.  This and other similar processes are so much simpler now that computers are used in pharmacies.

The only real pitfall of all of this is privacy.  It is now much easier for your medical information to be seen by people who should not be seeing it.  Your privacy can be invaded.  Your identity can be stolen.  These sorts of things would never have been possible in the times when all of your records were kept only on paper in the pharmacy.

Thus, computerization brings convenience, but also the danger of loss of privacy.