Of probable interest ...
South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board Posted May 14 2006
ISSUE: Take the POP Pledge.
It's been a familiar butt of jokes -- the handwriting of the hurried physician's prescription. Given the potential consequences of poor penmanship, though, the joke may be on the unsuspecting patient.
A badly written prescription can be hazardous to your health. There are more than 82 million prescriptions written every day, and roughly 500,000 of them are wrong -- either in dosage or the drug itself.
Ideally, the problem could be solved if all medications were prescribed electronically. But that's not practical at this point. Fortunately, the Florida Health Care Coalition last week began what its leaders call a "low-tech solution to a high-volume problem."
The Paul O'Neill Pledge, or POP, is a public-awareness campaign, complete with bright red stickers and a sensible mantra for its participants: "I won't accept a prescription if I can't read the writing."
The pledge is named after the former Secretary of the Treasury who is also a big advocate of patient safety and medical reform. It encourages patients to urge their physicians to write legible prescriptions, something that could potentially save their lives.
Florida has a law that requires doctors to write legible prescriptions, but it's not one that receives a lot of fanfare or prompts much enforcement. Physicians still scribble, producing potentially fatal consequences. Imagine a patient who's expecting Celebrex for arthritis pain but instead receives Celebyx, a drug used to treat seizures, or Celexa, for depression.
The POP campaign serves as a potential boon for employers who are grappling with ever increasing health-care costs. So far, the coalition has the support of about 2 million Floridians and some of the state's largest employers, including FPL Group Inc., Macy's, Publix Super Markets and various local and county government agencies across the state.
For years, patient safety advocates have urged physicians to write more legibly and reduce potential medical errors. The POP campaign should generate reinforcements to help in this worthwhile cause.
BOTTOM LINE: The right Rx is to urge physicians to write legible prescriptions.
Yours for better letters, Kate Gladstone - handwritingrepair@xxxxxxxxx - telephone 518/482-6763 Handwriting Repair and the World Handwriting Contest http://learn.to/handwrite, http://www.global2000.net/handwritingrepair 325 South Manning Boulevard Albany, New York 12208-1731 USA Order books through my site! (Amazon.com link gets me 5% - 15% commission) And sign the "Politician Legibility Act" Petition: http://www.iPetitions.com/petition/PoliticianLegibility ========================================================To Unsubscribe: Send email to fptalk-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with "unsubscribe" in the Subject field. The email that you then receive MUST be replied to per instructions to complete the process.