Evaluation of Hand Written and Computerized Out-Patient Prescriptions in Urban Part of Central Gujarat FC01-FC05
Dr. Anuradha Joshi,
Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Pramukh Swami Medical College, Karamsad, Gujarat-388325, India.
Introduction: Prescription order is an important therapeutic transaction between physician and patient. A good quality prescription is an extremely important factor for minimizing errors in dispensing medication and it should be adherent to guidelines for prescription writing for benefit of the patient.
Aim: To evaluate frequency and type of prescription errors in outpatient prescriptions and find whether prescription writing abides with WHO standards of prescription writing.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional observational study was conducted at Anand city. Allopathic private practitioners practising at Anand city of different specialities were included in study. Collection of prescriptions was started a month after the consent to minimize bias in prescription writing. The prescriptions were collected from local pharmacy stores of Anand city over a period of six months. Prescriptions were analysed for errors in standard information, according to WHO guide to good prescribing.
Statistical Analysis: Descriptive analysis was performed to estimate frequency of errors, data were expressed as numbers and percentage.
Results: Total 749 (549 handwritten and 200 computerised) prescriptions were collected. Abundant omission errors were identified in handwritten prescriptions e.g., OPD number was mentioned in 6.19%, patientís age was mentioned in 25.50%, gender in 17.30%, address in 9.29% and weight of patient mentioned in 11.29%, while in drug items only 2.97% drugs were prescribed by generic name. Route and Dosage form was mentioned in 77.35%-78.15%, dose mentioned in 47.25%, unit in 13.91%, regimens were mentioned in 72.93% while signa (direction for drug use) in 62.35%. Total 4384 errors out of 549 handwritten prescriptions and 501 errors out of 200 computerized prescriptions were found in clinicians and patient details. While in drug item details, total number of errors identified were 5015 and 621 in handwritten and computerized prescriptions respectively.
Conclusion: As compared to handwritten prescriptions, computerized prescriptions appeared to be associated with relatively lower rates of error. Since out-patient prescription errors are abundant and often occur in handwritten prescriptions, prescribers need to adapt themselves to computerized prescription order entry in their daily practice.