St. Petersburg Times Online: News of Florida
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
  • No-smoking bills head in different directions
  • Experts question Census data on same-sex couples
  • No-fault reform bill draws opposition from both sides
  • Former state tech chief acquitted of grand theft
  • Witness against Childers can testify, judge rules
  • Lawmakers may prescribe penmanship for doctors
  • Graham removes blockade on marshals, judge approvals
  • Senate leader is not buying into Bush budget proposal
  • Tribe's suspended chairman exerted pressure in letters
  • Legislature 2003: Sen. Les Miller in line for Senate minority leader

  • From the state wire

  • Hurricane Jeanne appears on track to hit Florida's east coast
  • Rumor mill working overtime after Florida hurricanes
  • Developments associated with Hurricanes Ivan and Jeanne
  • Four killed in Panhandle plane crash were on Ivan charity mission
  • Hurricane Frances caused estimated $4.4 billion in insured damage
  • Disabled want more handicapped-accessible voting machines
  • USF forces administrators to resign over test score changes
  • Man's death at Universal Studios ruled accidental
  • State child welfare workers in Miami fail to do background checks
  • Hurricane Jeanne heads toward southeast U.S. coast
  • Hurricane Jeanne spurs more anxiety for storm-weary Floridians
  • Mistrial declared in case where teen was target of racial "joke"
  • Panhandle utility wants sewer plant moved to higher ground
  • State employee arrested on theft, bribery charges
  • Homestead house fire kills four children, one adult
  • Pierson leader tries to cut off relief to local fern cutters
  • Florida's high court rules Terri's law unconstitutional
  • Jacksonville students punished for putting stripper pole in dorm
  • FEMA handling nearly 600,000 applications for help
  • Man who killed wife, niece, self also killed mother in 1971
  • Producer sues city over lead ball fired by Miami police
  • Tourism suffers across Florida after pummeling by hurricanes
  • Key dates in the life of Terri Schiavo
  • An excerpt from the unanimous ruling in the Schiavo case
  • Four confirmed dead after small plane crash in Panhandle
  • Correction: Disney-Cruise Line story
    Print story Subscribe to the Times

    Lawmakers may prescribe penmanship for doctors

    ©Associated Press
    Related video

    56k | High-Speed

    March 13, 2003

    TALLAHASSEE -- Attention, chicken-scratching doctors: Start writing those prescriptions so we can read them.

    If you don't, you may soon be breaking the law.

    The House Subcommittee on Health Standards took aim at doctors' sloppy penmanship Wednesday, unanimously approving a bill (HB 363) requiring that prescriptions be "legibly printed or typed."

    The measure, sponsored by Rep. Shelly Vana, doesn't spell out any penalties for doctors who don't write neatly, leaving that to the medical disciplinary boards that oversee various types of doctors.

    Rep. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, questioned whether the measure would accomplish much because it lacks a specific punishment.

    "It was not my intent to have any kind of heavy punitive damages," said Vana, D-West Palm Beach. She said the measure would make it clear to disciplinary boards, however, that doctors who repeatedly write sloppy prescriptions should be sanctioned.

    As weighty matters go, doctors' messy cursive may seem a trivial matter, but a lobbyist for the Walgreens drug chain said it's one of the biggest safety problems in medicine.

    "The biggest fear we have is dispensing errors," said Michael Schwartz. He said pharmacists may give patients the wrong drug when they misread the doctor's script, and often have to waste time calling doctors to clarify a prescription.

    Negron also questioned who might be the judge of good penmanship.

    "What's legible to one pharmacist might not be to another," Negron said. "I would hate to see a doctor penalized because one pharmacist couldn't read what the rest of us could."

    The bill now needs approval from the full House Health Care Committee and budget committees. A similar measure (SB 2084) is filed in the Senate.

    Print story Subscribe to the Times

    Back to State news
    Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
    Special Links
    Lucy Morgan

    From the Times state desk