Monday, October 13th, 2008

Bad handwriting and medical errors

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Your Rhodia Driver had a medical scare in the extended family not too long ago. And it got us into thinking how important it is to have a good doctor. No, not a high-priced doctor, just a good one. Then we ran across this article from Canada’s Globe and Mail about medical errors brought about by bad handwriting. It reads in part: “We know from the literature that there are certainly medical errors that result from miscommunication,” said pharmacist Lora Jaye Gray medication safety co-ordinator for the WRHA. “There are continually reports throughout Canada of patients who have been harmed and killed through medication errors. We also know from the Canadian Adverse Events Study in 2004 that 7.5 per cent of patients admitted to Canadian hospitals had at least one adverse event. Not all were medications, but medications were a big part of that.”

You can read the entire story here. Via My Life in the YY.


8 thoughts on “Bad handwriting and medical errors

  1. so true! I don’t know why it is, but medical doctors have the worst handwriting I’ve ever seen.

    I once went to see a doc for a stomachache, he prescribed me some meds and in the drugstore, they almost gave me eye drops (because the name of two were kinda similar).

    It’s also very hard to keep track on doses and how many times to taken them if you need a cryptographer to read your prescription :|

  2. so true! I don’t know why it is, but medical doctors have the worst handwriting I’ve ever seen.

    I once went to see a doc for a stomachache, he prescribed me some meds and in the drugstore, they almost gave me eye drops (because the name of two were kinda similar).

    It’s also very hard to keep track on doses and how many times to taken them if you need a cryptographer to read your prescription :|

  3. I’ve always thought that good penmanship was more important than the modern world seems to believe. I’m sure there are other real problems surrounding log-keeping, not only with doctors and pharmacists but also logbooks within law enforcement, police reports and critical services (most of which documentation is handwritten and not typed). My sisters children can barely write script at all. It’s like gym or something else that you cut from schools first as less important….Of course it’s all important and it’s asking for trouble.

  4. I’ve always thought that good penmanship was more important than the modern world seems to believe. I’m sure there are other real problems surrounding log-keeping, not only with doctors and pharmacists but also logbooks within law enforcement, police reports and critical services (most of which documentation is handwritten and not typed). My sisters children can barely write script at all. It’s like gym or something else that you cut from schools first as less important….Of course it’s all important and it’s asking for trouble.

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