Doctors should write their prescriptions legibly

  • Prem Menon, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Sep 17, 2015 12:29 IST

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak” — Hans Hoffman.

Communication has occupied a place of importance for ages and will continue to do so because of its vital function of conveying one’s feeling to another. Communication may be oral, typed or handwritten. Even silence is a way of communicating. Whatever be the case, the basic principle of communication is that others should understand what is being communicated. If not, the purpose of communication is defeated.

One should realise the extent of frustration or stress of an ambiguous communication. As Aaron Goldman says: “Communicate unto the other person that which you would want him to communicate unto you if your positions were reversed”.

Handwritten communication has to be legible — especially in the field of medicine. The significance of legible handwriting may appear to be trivial, especially in this digital age, but it’s a serious issue. However, it is noticed that many doctors write (or rather scribble) prescriptions in a very shabby manner, with the result that the chemists often find it difficult to decipher the writing and give the right drug. Sometimes pharmacists have to guess the name of the medicine. In such cases, the patient is the victim.

Doctors are, therefore, duty-bound to present their prescriptions and all other documents in clear words, because at stake is the patient’s life. In fact, it should be mandatory for all doctors to write legibly or get prescriptions printed.

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