of probable interest: 2,000,000 Florida residents support campaign to refuse their MDs' illegible prescriptions

Of probable interest ...

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/opinion/editorial/sfl-editdlgoodwritingmay14,0,5729805.story?coll=sfla-news-editorial

        
Good Medicine

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.

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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.

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