A Paper Towel as a Medical Record – Really! #safety #HealthIT #EHR #hcsm

by Dr Nick

I ran across this posting on Mark Hindle’s Twitter account:

My Nan is in well publicised poorly performing hospital, this was in her notes last night – paper towel prescribing! pic.twitter.com/BdlLYy1gxD
— Mark Hindle (@mhindle2) August 15, 2013

The picture is shocking:

This is not just a hand written note as a simple reminder…this paper towel addresses the Pharmacy and says

“Please dispense Colecalciferol 20,000 units”

And it appears the pharmacy or maybe the nurses have dispenses this as evidenced by the “tick” over the top.

The Institute of Medicine published several studies including:

1999: To Err is Human
2001: Crossing the Quality Chasm

And the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine Published a study in 2006; Poor handwriting remains a significant problem in medicine that stated:

Leape and Berwick called handwritten medical notes a ‘dinosaur long overdue for extinction

Yet here we are in 2013 and not only do we still have hand written notes but they are written on a paper towel……I’m left


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