Impact of a sensitization program on prescription order writing skills of second year MBBS students: a prospective study

Subhashini Ramakrishnan, Bhuvaneswari Krishnamurthy, Umamaheswari Anbarasu


Background: Incomplete and erroneous prescriptions affect the effective management of patients. The undergraduates of today are the physicians of tomorrow. Hence, the need for inculcating good prescription writing practice from undergraduate level to improve quality of healthcare. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of a sensitization program on the effective prescription writing skills of second year MBBS students.

Methods: This prospective study was conducted between January and November 2017 among 149 second year medical students. The prescriptions by students were assessed prior to and after a sensitization program which emphasized on the importance of each component of the prescription, need for generic prescribing and rational use of drugs.

Results: After the sensitization program, there was significant improvement in mentioning of all components (p<0.05) except for route of administration, instructions, and health advise which were still deficient. The rationality in prescribing was analyzed by scoring vital drug related information on a scale of 12. Majority of inscriptions (72%; n=107) were rational after the program. There existed a weak positive correlation (r=0.15) between students’ knowledge of drugs assessed by theory examinations and scores of prescriptions assessed in practical examinations.

Conclusions: The sensitization program served as an effective strategy in improving knowledge regarding every component of the prescription and enhanced the prescription writing skills at the undergraduate level. This could help prevent deficiencies in health care arising from errors in prescribing.


Prescription writing, Medical students, Sensitization program, Rational prescribing

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