how to handle acronyms in medical records
Thread poster: Lesley Jackson

Lesley Jackson  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:34
Spanish to English
Jul 27, 2005

in a history and physical, for example, is it ever acceptable to use an equivalent target language acronym, if one exists? (if so, does anyone know a good S>E reference for such equivalents?) or is it best to just forget acronyms and write out the translation of the words the acronym stands for? thank you.

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Kurt Porter  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:34
Russian to English
+ ...
Acronyms Jul 27, 2005

Depends if you're getting paid for the source or target.

I feel it depends on your target audience. If you know they will know the acronyms right away, then why not?

If you think they won't be familar with them, you should expand.

Best of luck!


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Suzanne Blangsted  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:34
Danish to English
+ ...
medical records Jul 27, 2005

Since medical records are usually not intended for lay persons but for medical professionals, acronyms are acceptable.

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Lesley Jackson  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:34
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
if acronym not visible in the translation, looks like an omission? Jul 27, 2005

Kurt Porter wrote:

Depends if you're getting paid for the source or target.

I feel it depends on your target audience. If you know they will know the acronyms right away, then why not?

If you think they won't be familar with them, you should expand.

Best of luck!


Client is a government agency. I do not know if the actual reader is someone who understands the acronyms or not. Given the objective for evaluating the medical record, I believe they are looking for "bottom line" info (diagnosis, prognosis, etc.) rather than the fine details of surgical procedures. Yet they want the whole record translated.

So to expand seems best. However, a colleague has raised the concern that, if client sees no acronyms in the translated document, it will look like omissions.

My questions are: 1) is that a valid concern? and 2) what about putting the source acronym in brackets immediately following the expansion (or vice versa -- leave the acronym in place and bracket the expansion)? Some notes in this patient record are full of acronymns, however, so readability might suffer for such bracketing.

Any other ideas/comments? Thanks.


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Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 11:34
don't forget... Jul 27, 2005

It is important to remember that some are latin-based, therefore you can leave them in latin. (http://pharmsci.buffalo.edu/courses/phc311/latin.html)
Why not check out www.allhealthnet.com, I find that useful sometimes.


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Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 11:34
Add a note Jul 29, 2005

You could add a Translator's Note saying that you have translated the acronyms in full, I think that would cover you.

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Lesley Jackson  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:34
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
translator's note seems best Aug 1, 2005

Thanks, everyone, for your input. Yes, Orla, I'll go with your suggestion.

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