This explains so much


It’s now clear why things such as this happen on a regular basis:

Aardvark & Tuba

Stepping out of the humor track for a second, I just discovered this as well – apparently it’s a very serious matter:

Doctors’ sloppy handwriting kills more than 7,000 people annually. It’s a shocking statistic, and, according to a July 2006 report from the National Academies of Science’s Institute of Medicine (IOM), preventable medication mistakes also injure more than 1.5 million Americans annually. Many such errors result from unclear abbreviations and dosage indications and illegible writing on some of the 3.2 billion prescriptions written in the U.S. every year.

Read the full article at: Time: Cause of Death: Sloppy Doctors

The Old Wolf has spoken.

4 responses to “This explains so much

  1. The only solution: “Ok, Doc, if I can’t read this scrawl I’ll guarantee the Pharmacy can’t either, and I don’t want them guessing at what you meant. Write it out again on the bottom in English, block letters, no abbreviations, no fancy codes.”

    They get chastised enough, they’ll clean up their act.

  2. I’m happy to note that I can’t remember having received a handwritten prescription since the introduction of dot matrix printers, which quickly found their way into doctors’ offices and video rentals back in the late Eighties. My GP at the time had his office upstairs from a video rental, occasionally leading to joint missions to make the most of the trip. One thing they had in common, aside from sharing a building, was that neither had their printers’ character sets properly configured for Norwegian, meaning they both printed my first name with a “¥” instead of an “Ø”. A friend of mine could identify the brand and make of most dot matrix printers at fifty paces by the noise alone. He might suddenly and seemingly unprovoked say things like “This is an Epson LQ-2550. It makes a very distinct sound!” This same method was applied by Clint Eastwood in “Heartbreak Ridge” in 1986 for identifying AK-47s.

      • I might add that the lower-case variety often tended to yield a “¢” instead of a “¥” instead of an “ø”, depending on which wrong character set had been selected 😉

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