Avoid language that blames (eg, unintentionally, inadvertently) or embellishes (eg, profound, exces- sive) unless it is relevant to medical care.
Correctly label conditions such as DDH as “develop- mental” rather than “congenital” so that it does not lead a parent to believe that the condition should have been diagnosed soon after birth.
Medications should be written as mg/kg per time period. Ask about drug allergies every time a pre- scription is written.
Similar to the 3 rules of real estate (location, loca- tion, location), the 3 rules of medical malpractice are damages, damages, damages. Careful and extensive documentation is critical with patients likely to sus- tain long-term sequelae.
The Institute of Medicine has noted that half of Americans, even among the well educated, do not understand basic health information.24 Further- more, many Americans lack good reading skills. Verbal instructions should be simple, clear, and con- cise. Written material provided to patients should be written at an eighth-grade level.
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