Let’s make hospital discharge instruction more clear.

I just noticed in my own discharge that the instructions for medications were written in “doc-speak”.

I read that I was to take a medication BID. The acronym wasn’t spelled out and the average patient has NO IDEA what BID means.

Nor can the patients be blamed. It turns out the mystery acronym is for the Latin phrase “bis in die”, which means “twice a day”.

If a patient is supposed to take a pill “twice a day”, then the discharge instructions should say it.

True, the information for using it twice a day is also there if one looks, but it is confusing as it mixes patient views and pharmacist info. One also has to wade through pages of updates and unneeded info. What the patient wants is ONE PAGE with the important stuff, like when they take their meds.

A working knowledge of medical Latin phrases (and their acronyms) shouldn’t be required of patients.

There have been discussions for years now on how to make discharge instructions more clear. It appears we have more work to do.

Here is the full reference: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=6954


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