Staff of Asclepius
“Recent scholars have established that the expression, [primum non nocere], was not specifically used by Hippocrates, and it was not in the Hippocratic writings collected in the Middle Ages. (3-10) According to medical historians, the only known relevant Hippocratic sayings are found in Epidemics (Book I, Chapter XI): "As to diseases, make a habit of two things--to help, or at least to do no harm." (11,12)… The aphorism was known in America as early as the 1860s and was generally understood by 1906. That the maxim was well known in the United States in the 1930s is obvious from the writings of the long-time editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Morris Fishbein…The puzzle of the actual source of both the English expression and the associated Latin has not escaped the attention of many writers and has led to a variety of attributions or explanations.” [1]

Thomas Inman, an English physician, “appears to attribute the expression of the "Latin aphorism" to no other than the famous English physician, Thomas Sydenham (1624 to 1689), frequently referred to as the English Hippocrates:
Lest it should be objected that our opinions are newfangled and therefore unworthy of credence, we crouch under the cloak of Sydenham, and say, that our motto is none other that a translation of his Latin aphorism respecting a physician's duties, viz.:--"Primum est ut non nocere." (29)…
After Inman's mention in 1860, the next earliest American uses in print appear to have been by a surgeon, Lewis A. Stimson, in 1879, some 19 years later. He used precisely the same expression as used today: The maxim that our first duty is to do no harm—primum non nocere--is not intended to reduce us to the rank of simple spectators; it is to stimulate us to attain greater accuracy in diagnosis, greater skill in treatment, and quicker perception of indications. (39) Nevertheless, as many ethicists and physicians have pointed out, merely avoiding harm does not meet the challenges of promoting positive actions to improve health, cure disease, and alleviate suffering (eg, Lasagna, (3,6) Shelton, (10) and Rogers (53)).”[2]

NovusRx addresses this reality with the creation of Rx-Writer, an electronic prescription pad with the goal to change the physician-patient dynamic and the practice of medicine for the better.

The Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association reports that “Both researchers and policy-making organizations have identified electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) systems as a means to improve quality in healthcare delivery. However, there are documented risks involved in integrating such clinical systems into healthcare processes. These risks generally fall into two categories. First, new technologies may not accomplish what they are designed to do.”[3]

Rx-Writer is specifically designed to accomplish a replacement of the prescription pad to save physicians time, money, and improve their relationships with patients.

“[Secondly], introduction of new technologies may lead to unintended consequences such as patient harm or misused resources. To determine whether they work as expected and without incurring risk, people and institutions implementing e-prescribing should evaluate their systems in the context of pre-existing processes.”[

Rx-Writer was designed specifically to integrate into a physician’s existing workflow and eliminate the need for excess training in order for the physician to immediately improve their practice and quality of care.

[1] Smith M.D., Cedric M. Origin and uses of primum non nocere--above all, do no
harm! Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 2005; 45(4); 371+. Academic OneFile. Web. Accessed September 3, 2011.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Rosenbloom M.D. MPH, S. Trent. “Approaches to Evaluating Electronic
Prescribing.” J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2006 Jul-Aug; 13(4): 399–401. Accessed September 3, 2011.
[4] Ibid.

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