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Retrospective analysis of completeness and legibility of prescription orders at a tertiary care hospital

Shrikant Dharmadikari, Jugalkishore Jaju, Ganesh Pawar, Satyajeet Funde.


Background: Medication errors contribute significantly to adverse drug events. These errors can occur at any step from prescribing to administering drug. While most of the prescribing errors can be prevented, administering errors seldom can be intercepted.

Aims & Objective: Prime objective was to analyze the quality of prescription writing, as a part of a continuous quality improvement program with emphasis on Completeness & legibility of prescriptions.

Materials and Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted including 225 prescriptions. All prescriptions were evaluated for doctors’ information: Name, address, specialty and signature, patient information: name, sex, weight, age, date and medication details: strength, quantity, frequency, dosage form and instructions for use.

Results: Doctors Name, specialty, sign were present in 17.77%, 90.22%, 91.11% prescriptions respectively. The symbol Rx was present in 99% while the patient's name and age was present in 100% cases. No prescription contained the patient's address while Sex and weight mentioned only in 42.66% and 3.11% respectively. Date was mentioned in 100% cases. Generic names were used in 58.49% cases. Strength, frequency of administration and quantity were present on 59.37%, 99.55% and 88.15% respectively. Instructions were mentioned in 8.44% of prescriptions.

Conclusion: There is a need to address the legibility of prescription, correct spelling with the correct strength and frequency, authorized abbreviations as well as all other information on a prescription concerned with patient, prescriber and drugs to minimize the occurrence of medication errors.

Key words: Prescription; Legibility; Completeness; Tertiary Care Hospital

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