Medical Errors from Abbreviations

Topics: Abbreviation, Acronym and initialism, Abbreviations Pages: 2 (327 words) Published: October 4, 2010
Kimberly Underwood
6617 White Blossom Ct.
Jacksonville, FL. 32258
Medical Terminology, HIT 107
Research project 4090320

Eliminating medical abbreviations would reduce errors because many abbreviations are very similar and therefore people get confused between them, however, 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. Simple electronic prescription program can eliminate errors caused by handwriting and transcription errors, assist with dosing, and provided quick access to drug information.

Medical professionals should use abbreviations and acronyms only when you really need them.   You should introduce an abbreviation or acronym by putting it in parentheses immediately after the words it stands for and you should always confirm that others correctly understand your abbreviation or acronym. Abbreviations are acceptable in nurse’s notes, progress notes and therapy notes. Abbreviations should not be used for a doctor’s order. Licensed and credentialed personnel who are trained in abbreviations may use the acceptable abbreviations to shorten lengthy notes. The "do not use abbreviation "policy is not enough to prevent medication errors. Along with the use of the policy, proper information dissemination and adequate education of the health care members should be enhanced. All abbreviations should be standard to avoid confusion and policies should include all abbreviations that are used and add new ones promptly. A list should also be provided and should be given to all staff members that write in the medical records. Policies should also contain how to report improper usage and the actions...
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