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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 72-76

Assessment of completeness and legibility of prescriptions received at community pharmacies

Department of Pharmacy Practice, Raghavendra Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (RIPER), Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Easwaran Vigneshwaran
Department of Pharmacy Practice, Raghavendra Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2394-2010.184242

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Introduction: A prescription is a written order put into practice by a health-care practitioner such as physician, dentist, hakim, vaidya, veterinarian in the form of instructions that govern the plan of care/treatment for every individual patient. Prescription errors account for elevated number of medication errors that could potentially result in unwanted effects. These are considered as most preventable and on the other hand common cause of iatrogenic injuries and increased health care cost. Thus, it is essential to know the fact on completeness and legibility of prescriptions. Objectives: This study was intended to assess the legibility and completeness of prescriptions which are received at pharmacist attended community pharmacies settings of rural India. Materials and Methods: It is a prospective, cross-sectional research work performed among community pharmacies sited in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, India. Put together, 285 prescriptions were acknowledged during the study episode, from different hospitals and clinics with different specialty physicians. The completeness of prescriptions was analyzed by means of a checklist of vital dimensions in parallel to the World Health Organization guidelines for medication order writing. The legibility was assessed based on the scoring system on quality of prescription. Results: This study results show that all the prescriptions were hand written. The legibility was lacking in almost half of the prescriptions analyzed. We also found that prescriptions are less concentrated on patients' information and medication information than physicians' information. Conclusion: It is necessary to critically address and evaluate the completeness and legibility of the prescriptions in a continuous and frequent manner. Further, this is the time to change it into the computerized electronic prescribing from handwritten prescription to reduce the medication errors.

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