The five most confusing discharge abbreviations

One in every five words contained in hospital discharge summaries is an abbreviation, new Australian research has revealed.

Researchers from Royal Melbourne Hospital analysed 80 electronic discharge summaries from 2012/13 and recorded a total of 6269 abbreviations – 20% of the total words used.

In total there were 840 different abbreviations used, and nearly 7% of these were regarded by the researchers as being inappropriate and/or ambiguous, or unknown.

They estimated that these inappropriate, ambiguous or unknown abbreviations occurred on