BackgroundPrescription is a written order from physician to pharmacistwhich contains name of drug, its dose and its method ofdispensing and advice over consuming it. The frequency ofdrug prescription errors is high. Prescribing errorcontributes significantly towards adverse drug events. Thepresent study was undertaken to understand the currentprescription writing practices and to detect the commonerrors in them at a tertiary health care centre situated in arural area of Western Maharashtra, India.MethodA cross sectional study was conducted at a tertiary levelhospital located at a rural area of Maharashtra state, Indiaduring October 2009-March 2010. 499 prescriptions comingto medical store during period of one month wereconsidered for data analysis. Important informationregarding the patient, doctor, drug and the generaldescription of the prescription were obtained.ResultsAll the prescriptions were on the hospital pad. A significantnumber of the prescriptions (n=88, 17.6%) were written inillegible handwriting and not easily readable. The name, ageand sex of the patient were mentioned is majority of theprescriptions. All the prescriptions (100%) failed todemonstrate the presence of address, height and weight ofthe patient. Only the brand name of the drugs wasmentioned in all the prescriptions with none of them havingthe generic name. The strength, quantity and route ofadministration of the drug were found on 73.1%, 65.3% and75.2% prescriptions.ConclusionThere are widespread errors in prescription writing by thedoctors. Educational intervention programs and use ofcomputer can substantially contribute in the lowering ofsuch errors. A short course on prescription writing beforethe medical student enters the clinical field and strictmonitoring by the administrative authorities may also helpalleviate the problem.Word count: 2980Tables:
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