Eliminating Abbreviations

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Eliminating medical abbreviations would reduce errors because many abbreviations are very similar and therefore people get confused between them. If abbreviations were eliminated it would make it very difficult on medical professionals who would have to write out very lengthy medical terms. That's why many organizations are developing written policies stating which abbreviations should not be used and medical professionals are trained to write legible when using other abbreviations. Written policies are developed to protect the patient from wrong diagnosis or testing. The policies should contain medical abbreviations that are appropriate for use in the medical setting they are working for. If the wrong codes are entered it could result in a poor medical treatment, even death. Medical abbreviations are acceptable when around medical professionals and when in a hurry in an emergency setting. They are acceptable when you use them with people who understand what you are writing, or between people who know exactly what they mean. What it is never OK to do in medicine is to make your own abbreviations or acronyms, the reason for this is the patient’s medical chart is a legal record. If you are making up your own short cuts without realizing they have another meaning; they will be misinterpreted by the next person to handle the chart and cause a patient to get wrong tests, wrong medications and/or dosage, wrong treatment, even the wrong diagnoses. This could cause a fatal accident. I do not think there will ever be enough steps taken to eradicate errors within the medical profession; but, I do think these professionals are doing their best to get them as low as possible. The largest number of errors made within the medical profession is due to human error. Humans are not, and never will be perfect. Therefore, errors will always exist within the medical profession.

www.memphis.edu/hss/.../MS-ClinicalNutrition-MedicalTerm...
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