Illegible prescriptions: MP college to impart handwriting


In a bid to protect budding doctors from any unpleasant situation they might find themselves in future because of illegible prescriptions, a state-run medical college in Madhya Pradesh has come up with an intersting idea.

Under the proposed plan, graduate and post-graduate students of Indore-based Mahatma Gandhi Memorial (MGM) Medical College will be trained by a subject expert for improving their writing skills, so that they can write prescriptions and medical documents in legible manner. MGM Dean Dr Jyoti Bindal said Sunday the college would rope in a subject specialist to improve handwriting skills of budding medicos, so that they can write prescriptions that are legible and easy to understand. "We will also organise a competition among students to write prescriptions in clear and beautiful letters," Dr Bindal said.

Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Medical Science University (MPMSU) Vice-Chancellor Dr Ravishankar Sharma blamed hurry in which doctors often write for illegible precriptions. He said some doctors finish writing prescriptions in just 30 seconds. Dr Sharma suggested that upcoming doctors take at least three minutes to write the drug order.

"I suggest doctors to write symptoms of patients, description of a disease and prescribed medicines in clear words," he said.

Dr Sharma, however, does not agree with the public criticism of illegible prescriptions. "All doctors cannot be expected to write prescriptions beautifully but yes what is written should be readable," he said. Patients often face problems in purchasing medicines from pharmacists due to such undecipherable prescriptions.

Many a times, badly written medico-legal documents hamper investigation by the police. In some instances in the past, patients and their family members had faced issues in claiming medical insurance due to poor handwriting of the doctors. In view of the criticism, some doctors have started giving computerised prescriptions to their patients. In view of the issue of illigible medcal prescriptions, Union Health Ministry is set to make it a norm mandating doctors to prescribe medicines in capital letters in a "legible" manner and also mention the generic names of the drugs, an official had told PTI in Delhi.

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