Eliminating Abbreviations Errors in the Medical Field Essay

Eliminating Abbreviations Errors in the Medical Field Essay

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• How can eliminating abbreviations reduce errors?
The use of abbreviations shortens length of many words thus really help healthcare professionals in saving time spent in writing notes. Abbreviations however do not always provide positive contributions due to misconceptions, misunderstandings, and misinterpretations leading to commitment of errors in the practice. Similarities in abbreviations for instance could root to a grave mistake. For instance the q.d. which an inscriber would like to indicate as every day could be erroneously interpreted as q.i.d. which means four times a day. Such error could result to over dosage when a certain medication is taken four times in a day instead of just once. Though some abbreviations can be easily understood clearly and exactly as to what meaning they communicate, the use of abbreviations generally invite error potentials particularly the error-prone abbreviations (ISMP, 2007) which can be best avoided by eliminating abbreviations.

•Should written policies be developed for abbreviation usage? If yes, what should the policies contain?
Despite of errors that can be potentially generated by using abbreviations , the use of such shortened form of inscribing some words and medical orders has been a part of the practice and has not been eradicated. It would be therefore for the best and benefit of everyone to be well guided by written policies on usage of abbreviations. Standard policies on abbreviation usage have been developed by organizations such as The Joint Commission (ISMP, 2007). The JCAHO has been also striving to reach out to the healthcare professionals and organizations to help in elimination of errors rooting from the use of abbreviations (AARC, 2005). Org...


... middle of paper ...


...owledge on abbreviations not only by medical professionals but also those who are keenly interested in learning some forms of the written language used in the medical field.

References
AARC. (2005). JCAHO seeks your input in medical abbreviations. Retrieved January
4, 2009, from http://www.aarc.org/headlines/medical_abbreviations.asp
ISMP. (2001). In the long run, penmanship classes for doctors won't do much for
patient's safety. Retrieved January 04, 2009, from
http://www.ismp.org/Newsletters/acutecare/articles/20010110.asp?ptr=y
ISMP. (2007). ISMP's list of error-prone abbreviations, symbols, and dose
designations. Retrieved January 04, 2009, from
http://www.ismp.org/tools/errorproneabbreviations.pdf
The Joint Commission. (2009). "Do Not Use" list. Retrieved January 04, 2009, from
http://www.jointcommission.org/PatientSafety/DoNotUseList/

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