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DBE, SLR, SOB, IRQ, NWB: we all know what they mean, don’t we? But would your healthcare colleagues understand your notes – and what about your patients?
At BMI Healthcare we have started on an ambitious project focusing on our use of acronyms, symbols and abbreviations. We started after a coroner told us our notes could only be understood by members of the medical profession, who are, in any case, increasingly developing their own languages. Other professions may use the same acronyms with different meanings. For example, to a photographer SLR means single-lens reflex rather than the health worker’s service-line reporting.
In our profession, the question is simple: could the use of shortcuts affect patient safety? Because patients can see copies of their notes and need to understand what’s written about them, we decided to be proactive and make notes clearer for all. Everything we produce is being reviewed and amended as we aim for the clearest documentation possible. We wanted to share our experience as we may all have to follow the same journey eventually.
- Sandra Harding, senior physiotherapist, BMI Healthcare
Flying the flag for physiotherapy
Thank you for publishing the letter by Lisa Roberts in the 12 April issue (page 4). Titled Physio in the dictionary, this letter was about the ‘Clapham sign’, which was named after me.
I am delighted that this sign has been recognised in the Dictionary of Neurological Signs. It highlights the importance of clinical observation and I am proud to fly the flag for physiotherapy.
For therapists, the sign’s clinical relevance is that there is a strong correlation between the facial stretch response and the degree of denervation of the facial nerve.
Early identification may enhance the management of severe facial palsy and predict subsequent development of disordered facial movement, which is known as synkinesis.
- Lorraine Clapham
Access all areas
I co-founded an enterprise called MeIncluded last year to help change the way businesses and service providers approach accessibility and their customers.
We realised that to make real improvements for disabled people and improve social inclusion, businesses and service providers have a massive role to play. But when we talked to businesses we learnt that they don’t really know how their customers feel about the quality and accessibility of their facilities.
And, in some cases, they had no idea that there was an issue at a local branch or shop, or what to do about putting it right.
We want to change this. So we created a review website titled MeIncluded.
People can leave feedback about their accessibility experience (good and bad) on just about any business, venue or service provider.
We’ve also just created a free app on Google Play and are investing in an iPhone version too.
- Simon Chapman, www.meincluded.co.uk;
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