The prescription of medications is a weak link in the therapeutic chain of a drug. Medication errors can be associated with the use of so-called unsafe abbreviations in medical prescription. When they are mistakenly interpreted by the person who reads the prescription, error becomes imminent. We herein review the literature about the use of unsafe abbreviations in medical prescriptions and their association with medication errors. PubMed and Lilacs were reviewed, and 29 studies were analyzed, extracting information about the use of abbreviations, common abbreviations, reasons for their use and tools to reduce this conduct. A list with the main risky health abbreviations adapted to Chile was generated. It became clear that the use of abbreviations has increased, appearing in almost all medical prescriptions. The most commonly used abbreviations are the acronym "u" referring to units, followed by "sc" referring to subcutaneous. One of the causes for the use of acronyms the limited time that doctors have at the time of prescription. One way to reduce the use of these abbreviations, is to remind constantly about those that may have the greatest risk in each health institution. A list of unsafe abbreviations, to be used by Chilean health services, is proposed.
|Translated title of the contribution||Unsafe abbreviations in medical prescriptions and their association with medication errors: A review|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Revista Medica de Chile|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2020|
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