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Published on:January 2016
RGUHS Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2016; 6(1):20-24
Research Article | doi:10.5530/rjps.2016.1.4

Good Prescribing Practices for Better Health Care Outcomes and Reduction in Medication Errors

Authors and affiliation (s):

Chilukuri Parmathma

Community Pharmacist, Raja Drugs, 5-4-137/7, Prakasham Bazar, Nalgonda - 508 001, Telangana State, INDIA.


Purpose: Prescribing name of medicines in capital letter and preferably generic name is an effective measure to reduce medication error. Evaluation of prescriptions with regard to capital letter or illegible writing was taken up to assess compliance of circular issued by Director of Medical Education, Telangana State. Research approach: Prescriptions presented at twenty five community pharmacies in five districts of Telangana State during a period of six months were grouped under the headings, capital letter and illegible writing. The prescriptions from government hospitals, medical college hospitals, nursing homes, private hospitals, primary health centers and private practitioners were included in the study. Results: Analysis of the 206,920 prescriptions revealed that out of seven sources of prescriptions only 29,720 (14.36%) had medicines name written in capital letters, and 177,200 (85.64%) prescriptions were not. Research value: As brand name of medicines has many look alike sound alike (LASA) names, illegible writing is a potential cause of confusion during dispensing and administration of medicines or medication errors. This research has wide implications in educating patients and their attendants. Name of medicine in capital letter will leave no scope for guessing and thus ensure accurate dispensing and administration of medicine. Application: Findings of this research will encourage patients and their attendants to insist for writing medicine names in capital letters so that after purchasing the medicine(s) patient or his attendant can confirm that the medicines received are the same as prescribed. This will avoid any confusion and ensure therapeutic success as well as patient safety. Research implications: This research will encourage periodic analysis of prescriptions to bring transparency in prescribing habits.

Key words: Illegible prescription, Medication error, Capital letter prescribing, Good prescribing practices, Health care outcomes.


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