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It is quite common to see doctors writing poorly. They have bad writing in which they prescribe the medicines to patients. However, two days back Allahabad high court fined three doctors Rs 5,000 each for their bad handwriting. Last week, three cases came for hearing to the court. The injury report of the ones who were suffering issued by hospitals from districts Sitapur, Unnao and Gonda were not readable due to the handwriting of the doctors. Doctors issued them prescription written in very bad writing.
And now, Indore’s MGM Medical College issued that it will coach medical students in handwriting skills to make life easier for the patients.
MGM dean Dr Jyoti Bindal said, “We are coming up with a training session for students and a seminar session for doctors to improve their writing skills.” Bindal Sai added. “Handwriting has long been a problem for doctors and it has turned into a social stigma. We want this to end.”
Sometimes, badly written prescription leads to confusion to patients and they may end up with wrong medicines. Also, in medical insurance claims, illegible prescription often turn into legal disputes. There is a scheme named the Ayushman Bharat Scheme which 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,” says Dr Bindal.
As per a student named Manisha Goyal of MGM Medical College, “Although it will be an extra burden for us, but it is important and will be a stress-buster activity.”
About three years back, in the year 2015, the health ministry had made it compulsory to write prescriptions in capital letters. The directives are for the doctors to make it easier for chemists and patients.
Following the directive of the health ministry, around 100 doctors in Indore have started writing prescriptions digitally. They began doing it with the help of specially designed software to write medical reports and prescribe medicines.
Dr Sanjay Londhe, member of IMA stated, “Last year, we directed Indian Medical Association members to either improve their handwriting skills or start writing in block letters so that the prescription is readable. However, many doctors have found an alternative by switching to digital software.”
Digital prescription takes a longer time to be written but it’s for the best, according to the doctors. “I realised my handwriting isn’t good. So, I switched to a software that has medicines and prescription formats ready,” stated by Dr Shrikant Reddy, a neurologist.
While, Orthopaedist Sandeep Sharma said, “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.”