Thursday, July 19, 2007

Campaign hopes to erase bad handwriting

From the Globe and Mail:
Along with the stethoscope and the white coat, bad handwriting is central to the popular image of the physician.

But the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority has launched a campaign to stamp out hastily scrawled prescriptions after an audit revealed a third of the orders issued in its hospitals could have compromised patient safety, either because they were illegible or contained banned abbreviations.

“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.” ...more

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