When I called my doctor recently to get a prescription for a minor ailment, the whole process went smoothly. I left a message with the nurse telling her what I needed; she confirmed with the doctor and called me back. Someone at the doctor’s office called my pharmacy with the prescription, and I was good to go. Perfect. That is, until I actually picked up the prescription.

To my knowledge, I am only allergic to one thing in the whole world. I’m not a very high maintenance patient; there’s just the one allergy. Easy enough to manage, right?

Well, you’ve probably guessed that the prescription I tried to pick up contained the one drug to which I am singularly allergic. What had almost been a seamless, well-orchestrated process became a complicated mess. The pharmacist had to call the doctor, but the doctor only operates through voice mail so the pharmacist left a message. Now he’s waiting for the doctor to call back with a new prescription–hopefully today–and I am facing a second trip to the pharmacy and postponed relief of my ailment–all because someone didn’t pay attention to the details. All the nurse or doctor had to do was check my chart to see my allergy history, and we could have taken care of this the first time.

The details matter. Whether they impact convenience or reputation or physical well-being, it’s better for everyone to get them right the first time. I’m glad I’m not seriously ill.