EDC paper highlights the risks arising from classical medical jargon27 June 2008, posted by mnl24
Writing in The Lancet, Dr Melinda Lyons highlights the risks to patient safety arising from confusion over look-alike and sound-alike terms that are generated through the sector's reliance on Greek and Latin terms. Consistent with the Engineering Design Centre's strategy to demonstrate the value of the systems approach, this study has focussed on the needs of healthcare to learn from the structured language of aviation. Melinda suggests that certain terms, such as "hypo" (low) versus "hyper" (high), are difficult to distinguish in the noise of the clinical environment and could easily be misheard leading to wrong diagnoses or treatment. This embodies the ethos of the Engineering Design Centre's inclusive design group as reforming the language of healthcare can also make it more accessible to staff and patients alike.