Evidence concerning prescription audits conducted in developing countries like India is scarce, especially from the rural parts of the country. Therefore, the present prescription audit was undertaken in a rural tertiary care hospital to investigate prescriptions for their completeness, in format of prescription, legibility of writing and it was assessed against the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation of core indicators for prescription writing in order to investigate the rational usage of drugs. A total of 200 prescriptions were randomly selected, irrespective of clinical departments, patient characteristics and diagnosis over a period of six months. All the prescriptions were prospectively analyzed and conferred to an assessment of the quality of prescribing practice, general details, medical components, WHO core drug use indicators and legibility. Amongst the 200 prescriptions precisely monitored, we found that 100% prescriptions had general details of the patients such as name, age, gender, OPD/IPD registration number, hospital name & address and consulting unit/department. While evaluating the handwriting of the doctors, 83.5% (177/200) of the prescriptions had legible handwriting, wherein the degree of legibility showed 68.5% (137/200) prescriptions with easy legibility, 20% (40/200) difficult legibility while 11.5% (23/200) were illegible. Along with the different types of drugs obtained from the selected prescriptions, we found that antibiotics were prescribed in 51.5% (103/200) of the prescriptions. A prescription audit is a good tool to systemically review the day to day work, maintenance of records and assessment of accuracy of the diagnosis given by doctors and also the outcome of the treatment received.
Prescription audit, tertiary care hospital, legibility, antibiotics
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