Abbreviation downloads are available for purchase on-line for Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) (Astra Zeneca, 2006).

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Recommendations for best practice and implementation are included.

This anecdote dramatically illustrates one form of the misuse of abbreviation in the healthcare community. Our focus at the time was to correct the misinterpretation of CP for this child moving forward.

Materials such as stone, marble, bronze, or parchment were scarce.

This may have contributed to the need to fit large quantities of text onto limited, precious space by the third or fourth century (Scribal Abbreviations, 2006).

Abbreviations and acronyms are short, space-saving, convenient and easy to use. They also may be exclusive, and therefore understandable only to a specific group of professionals (Kushlan, 1995).

Regardless of their convenience, medical abbreviations have been responsible for serious errors and deaths.

The use of abbreviations and acronyms in healthcare has become an international patient safety issue.

Common problems include ambiguous, unfamiliar, and look-alike abbreviations and acronyms leading to misinterpretation and medical errors.

The literature is filled with many examples of the problems arising from their use.