Prescription audit for evaluation of present prescribing trends in a rural tertiary care hospital in South India: an observational study

Nagashree B. N., Ravi Shankar Manchukonda


Background: Prescription is a written order from the physician to pharmacist which contains name of the drug, its dose and its method of dispensing and advice over consuming it. The quality of life can be improved by enhancing the standards of the medical treatment at all levels of the health care delivery system. Prescription audit aims to provide precise information to a particular setting which enables rational policy decisions to be made. The present study was undertaken to find errors in current prescription practices in a tertiary care hospital situated in B G Nagara, Nagamangala, India.

Methods: An observational study in Adichunchanagiri Institute of Medical Sciences, B G Nagara, Nagamangala, India was conducted during October 2015. 113 prescriptions were analyzed. Information regarding the patient, doctor, drug and legibility of the prescription were obtained.

Results: Regarding patient details, name was present in all prescriptions with absence of height and weight in all prescriptions. Regarding prescriber details name, qualifications, address, phone number were not found in any prescriptions, but with 100% presence of signature. Regarding drug details generic name was found in 9.7%, and dose and frequency were found in 96.45% and 95.5% respectively. 96.4% of the prescriptions were found to be legible.

Conclusions: Irrational prescribing is a global problem. The rationality of prescribing pattern is of utmost importance because bad prescribing habits including misuse, overuse and underuse of medicines can lead to unsafe treatment, exacerbation of the disease, health hazards, economic burden on the patients and wastage. Computerised prescription ordering eliminates some of the subjective features of prescribing. Thus, if the proper information is entered correctly in the electronic system, medication errors due to illegible handwriting, incorrect dose, incorrect medication for medical condition, and drug interactions can be reduced, because each prescription can be linked to high-quality drug databases that check that the information on the prescription is appropriate for the patient (e.g., age, weight, gender, condition, lab values, disease being treated, concurrent medications) and that known warnings and potential problems are brought to the attention of the physician, pharmacist and patient.


Prescription audit, Errors in prescription, Legibility, E- prescription

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