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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: LouAnn Schraffenberger, MBA, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P(Advocate Health Care)
Description: This book, first published in 1983 with the title 17,000 Medical Abbreviations, has grown over the years to the point where this 13th edition claims to contain 28,000 abbreviations. Included with the purchase price is a single-user access license for the Internet version valid for 24 months from the initial online registration. Multiuser license agreements are also available.
Purpose: According to the author, the purpose is to assist those who must understand medical records, medical correspondence, and prescriptions, as well as all other forms of medical, nursing, pharmacy, and other health sciences communications. The author makes every effort to keep the book current by adding 80 to 100 new abbreviations per month to the Internet version.
Audience: The audience is anyone using medical terminology in the healthcare industry, including practicing healthcare professionals and people outside the medical field who must read and understand medical records and medical literature for time to time. In this group might be insurance agents, attorneys, courtroom reporters, newspaper reporters, law enforcement personnel, etc. Dr. Davis is recognized as an authority on medical abbreviations given the fact this is the 13th edition of his book that continues to be in demand.
Features: The nine chapters include an introduction; dangerous, contradictory and/or ambiguous abbreviations; a healthcare controlled vocabulary; a medical abbreviation primer; lettered abbreviations and acronyms; symbols and numbers; tables, lists, and conversions; a cross-referenced list of generic and brand drug names; and normal adult laboratory values. The high-speed search engine on the Internet version enables rapid access to meanings and other searches as well as the full text.
Assessment: This is a well done medical abbreviations book with helpful features such as the Internet access, the dangerous "do not use" list of abbreviations, a primer for individuals new to a health career, as well as the 28,000 meanings for health related abbreviations. I have used this book for several years and I have always been able to find the meaning of an abbreviation that I didn't know in his books. The book is reasonably priced with discounts for 20 copies or more. There is also a Palm OS or Pocket PC PDA version available with a smart-cell phone version under development. I recommend this book as a very user-friendly reference for medical abbreviations and other healthcare terms.