Indore: It is a universal fact that decoding doctors’ handwriting is an enormous task for the patients and their attendants, sometimes even other doctors. In general, it has been seen that what doctors write on the prescriptions, either they are capable of understanding it or chemists but the rest of the world finds it really difficult to read.
However, in an out of the ordinary way to make doctors’ handwriting more understandable to the public, the city-based MGM Medical College has come up with an announcement declaring that it will conduct classes to train the medicos in handwriting skills.
While confirming the decision, the Dean of the medical institution told TOI, “We are coming up with a training session for students and a seminar session for doctors to improve their writing skills,” adding that handwriting has long been a problem for doctors and it has turned into a social stigma. “We want this to end.”
Considering the issue of the illegible handwriting of medical professionals, a few laws and regulations have taken their course since a few years, such as compulsion of furnishing printed prescriptions in medical institutions.
Since due to unreadable prescriptions, the patients sometimes end up with wrong medicines or its doses, it has become the utmost alarming matter for the medical fraternity nowadays because the law authorities are also taking action against those medical practitioners, who write illegible prescriptions and reports which leads to them being sickened during the deciphering process.
Medical dialogues had recently reported about one such case where a doctor was summoned by the Allahabad HC to explain the diagnosis that he had written in the disability certificate, in person.
Further, appalled by the illegible contents on medico-legal reports the Allahabad HC imposed a fine of Rs 5000 on three medical practitioners while holding them liable for creating hindrance in judicial work.
While in another case, an order was passed by the Uttarakhand HC directing the medical institutions in the state to furnish only computer-generated prescriptions and medical reports.
No only this, illegibility often leads to disputes in medical insurance claims. Even the Ayushman Bharat Scheme has a special directive for legible handwriting. “It says that if the medical prescription is found unreadable, the beneficiary will not be able to claim insurance,” said Dr Bindal informed TOI.
The medicos at the MGM Medical College gave a green signal to this plan of initiating handwriting classes for them.
“Although it will be an extra burden for us, it is important and will be a stress-buster activity,” said a student of the Medical College.
Digital Prescription- Doctors call it Best
For doctors, a digital software is the best alternative when it comes to prescriptions and medical reports.
“I realised my handwriting isn’t good. So, I switched to a software that has medicines and prescription formats ready,” said Dr Shrikant Reddy, a neurologist.
Orthopaedist Sandeep Sharma confessed, “I had decent handwriting, but it kept getting worse to the point that I had to hire someone to read my prescription to patients. I decided to switch to digitally-typed format.”