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IJMDC. 2022; 6(5): 692-697

Use of medical abbreviations and acronyms: knowledge among pre and postgraduate medical students in single academic institute, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Ragad J. Arbaein, Faisal O. BinJahlan, Dana R. Alghumgham, Lama K. Alhazmi, Abdulrahman A. AlGhamdi, Raad Fayez, Hesham Rizk.


Background: Abbreviations and acronyms are commonly used in medical practice to save time and space in medical records. However, the use of ambiguous and unfamiliar abbreviations threatens patient safety. We aimed to assess medical students’ and interns’ knowledge of medical abbreviations and acronyms.
Methods: We gave a self-administered questionnaire comprising selected medical abbreviations to pregraduate medical students and medical interns at King Abdulaziz University Hospital. A total of 254 participants responded including 128 interns (50.4%) and 126 sixths (49.6%). The survey was conducted using Google Forms. Student and intern responses were classified into three categories: >70% correct answers; 50%-69% correct answers; and 70% correct answers, 123 (48%) achieved 50%-69% correct answers, and 88 (33.6%) had 70%.
Conclusion: Further education is necessary to emphasize the risks associated with using medical abbreviations. Awareness of the “do not use” list established by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations should be increased among medical students and professionals.

Key words: medical abbreviations; JCAHO; “do not use” list; patient risks; medical students

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