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Volume 27, Issue 3

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October 9, 2013

Lesson from a doctor

According to an article in the San Antonio Express-News’ mySA site heded Poor penmanship costs doctor $380,000, “A local physician whose illegible handwriting led to the fatal overdose of an elderly patient was ordered by a civil court jury Thursday to pay $380,000 in damages to the woman's family.”

While most Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) and Business Continuity/COOP practitioners eschew the pen in favor of a keyboard, the point of the article, at least as this practitioner sees it, is the necessity to make certain the audience gets the correct message.

It is not the audience’s job to try to interpret the practitioner’s words; it is the practitioner’s job to communicate to the audience in a manner the audience comprehends.

By the way, the operative word is “comprehend,” not “education” or “position.” Neither necessarily equates to comprehension of a specific subject.

According to the San Antonio paper, the doctor “changed his mind about the dosage, intending to increase it (from 10) to 20 millamoles(NB), testimony during the weeklong trial indicated.

“However, instead of scratching out the original amount on the form or starting over, he attempted to write a “2” over the “1,” the doctor acknowledged.

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