1. How can eliminating abbreviations reduce errors?
Abbreviations are usually used for convenience, to save space and to avoid the trouble of spelling out the word fully. Abbreviations are used in medical records and in medical language. Though the usage of abbreviations do have some advantage and make the recording easy and faster, there are several difficulties that could be faced in using abbreviations in medical record. It makes it difficult for the medical professional to understand properly, takes longer to train medical personnel, and it delays proper patient care and often times it hinders patient care.
So eliminating abbreviations can reduce and avoid to certain extent some of these difficulties. Spelling out the word will help understand the message properly and give the right kind of treatment or service as required. Proper communication becomes impossible when abbreviations are used sparingly in documentation. “When we rely on abbreviations in our business writing, we start a process of “inbreeding” that may prevent us from clearly communicating our thoughts to people outside our company, department, or discipline. Readers are intimidated when they see a bunch of abbreviations; rather than risk embarrassment by asking you what the abbreviations stand for, they’ll read without really comprehending your message (or will skip your document altogether). To make your writing clear, use abbreviations sparingly and explain every abbreviation you do use. Always define an abbreviation the first time you use it”.1
2. Should written polices be developed for Abbreviation usage? If yes, what should the policies contain? If no explain.
Yes, it is essential that written polices be developed for abbreviation usage. This will help
in using the abbreviations properly and will avoid the consequent errors and difficulties
in communication, especially in medical records...