The funny jokes about medics and their awful handwriting are more than a millennium old and popular worldwide. The anecdotes about their sloppy handwriting might be funny but for patients, however, a wrongfully interpreted prescription could easily mean death.
The Institute of Medicine has reported recently that the terrible and practically unreadable handwriting of the majority of physicians worldwide is accountable for nearly 7,000 deaths annually. In order to prevent this number from rising some countries have implemented a policy that forces physicians to use electronically printed prescriptions. According to the policy makers it will be a safer preventive measure both for physicians and their patients. While some countries are developing innovative solutions to the problem, many others still prefer the old-fashioned way.
The problem does not concern only doctors and patients but pharmacists as well. They have to be very experienced and perfectly trained in reading the physicians dreadful scriptures.
In conclusion, the majority of people believe that this bad practice will be very hard to remove completely. Physicians just don’t have enough time to write down every single word meticulously when it comes down to prescriptions or medical history.