Cause of Death: Sloppy Doctors

Doctors’ sloppy handwriting kills more than 7,000 people annually. It’s a shocking statistic, and, according to a July 2006 report from the National Academies of Science’s Institute of Medicine (IOM), preventable medication mistakes also injure more than 1.5 million Americans annually. Many such errors result from unclear abbreviations and dosage indications and illegible writing on some of the 3.2 billion prescriptions written in the U.S. every year.

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I’ve always wondered why the doctor’s office couldn’t send an email or some other electronic communication to the pharmacist, seems like it would save time and money as well as reduce errors.

Somewhat related, why do we have to carry a piece of paper in our automobiles that claims we have insurance?  It’s very easy to create a fake one.  Shouldn’t law enforcement be able to run our driver’s license or license plate and be able to verify our insurance coverage with some database? 

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