Manipal Journal of Medical Sciences


It has been a common notion that most of the doctors have atrocious, illegible handwriting. Physician’s illegible handwriting has been one of the most important contributing factors to the medical errors. The implications of this problem are far reaching and they affect the safety and quality of the health care. It can harm patients, lead to poor performance of nurses and the support staff, administration of incorrect drugs and doses, improper treatment schedules, and, last but not the least, the legal. In this review article, an effort has been made (1) to have an insight into this age-old problem of the doctors (2) to provide an overview of the illegible handwriting of the doctors negatively affecting the quality of medical care and (3) to inform a more comprehensive approach to the management of this avoidable medical error.