Many doctors indeed have a terrible handwriting.
But do you have concrete examples of people who have died because a pharmacist has read a prescription incorrectly?
Anyway; In Belgium no longer a problem: regulations are electronic, you only get a printed “attestation” that you submit to a pharmacist (who consults the prescription on screen). In any case in Mechelen.
Where did you get those stats from?
Then it is the fault of the pharmacist, who only need to contact the doctor and/or ask the patient what the doctor may have prescribed.
I’m just going to answer “why are doctors not addressed to their unreadable handwriting”.
Just because I want to tell an anecdote from my past.
In The years 2000 I was responsible among other things for the drafting of the accident dossiers of our framework and the pupils (defense).
Such a dossier is drawn up on the basis of a Model 150.That paper is made up by the unit physician and one finds the cause and diagnosis of the injuries suffered. With that data I’ll get started.
As usual I had the weather difficult to decipher the handwriting of the physician.The victim’s statement did not help to find out what the injury described was now. In short, I was the Kotsbeu!
I took a paper in hand and scrambled unreadable characters but looked like a handwriting at first sight.To be sure I was recognized as the writer I placed my personal stamp on it and put it together with the Model 150 on the physician’s desktop.
The day after, he stood in front of my desk.
“Is This your writing?”, he asked me. I nodded in the affirmative.”What exactly is there, I can’t read that?”.
I took the leaf out of his hand and did as I read the text: “Doctor, would you be so kind as to want to write the models 150 in the future readable so that I can work with that data for the preparation of the accident dossier?”.
He looked at me with caution and left smiling at his practice.From then on I got everything neatly typed out and I never had any problems to find out what was on the documents.
So, the reason why they are not addressed is often because the patient of service does not say anything about it.When I get a prescription and I can’t read it, I ask the doctor what he wrote and then let me spell it out and write it in readable letters next to it. This happened only once, but it made sure that since then, that Doctor wrote everything in print letters on my certificate. Assertiveness does help. BTW, that’s not just the case with doctors and the knowledge of the NATO spelling alphabet also helps.
Why are they not addressed to their “mistake”?Error I would not mention that, rather impractical.
Problem solves itself. Our GP ticks the recipe on his computer and that goes directly to the pharmacy.In hospitals the same. At least in Heerlen and Maastricht.
Nowadays, recipes are usually printed.I have sometimes returned patients because it was completely unreadable what the doctor had requested and the phone was not recorded at that time.