Translated Prescriptions Often Wrong – Half of Automated Spanish Versions Have Errors


This is a problem I never thought about before, but apparently it’s a quite serious one — erroneous translations of medication prescriptions for Spanish-speaking patients.

The problem, as reported in the Chicago Tribune, arises when pharmacies with no Spanish-speaking employees fill prescriptions for people who don’t speak English. The pharmacies must either go find someone who does speak Spanish, or more likely rely on a computer translation program to write the dosage instructions. Unfortunately, no program is capable of converting all the many possible dosage instructions into the appropriate Spanish phrases.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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