Background Drug prescription is the end product of most medical consultations; furthermore it serves as a means so that the appropriate drugs are delivered by the hospital pharmacy to the nursing ward. Despite the importance of good quality prescriptions, erroneous prescribing habits are not uncommon.
Purpose The aim of this study was twofold: firstly to evaluate the quality of prescription writing at a hospital clinic of internal medicine and secondly to detect the most common reasons for deficiencies as far as the ‘in hospital’ prescribing procedure was concerned.
Materials and methods The study was carried out during the first six months of 2013. About 1000 medical prescriptions derived through the Computerised Physician Order Entry (CPOE) system were reviewed for deficiencies by the hospital pharmacy. The prescriptions were investigated using a check list for the following: adequate patient data, relevant diagnosis, frequency, route and duration of treatment and name/signature of doctor. All prescriptions were compared against the hand written medicines’ instructions as stated on paper charts available for use by the nursing staff.
Results Although the computerised link between the ward and pharmacy has been available since the middle of 2009, prescribing doctors (medical residents) seem to face difficulties in transforming their verbal or written orders into typical prescription forms through the CPOE system. No absence of patient data or prescriber’s signature was observed. On the other hand, the most common lack of information concerned the field of diagnosis (total absence or misuse of the ICD-10 taxonomy instead of reporting the actual reason for prescribing particular medicines).
Conclusions One of the emerging problems in our study is that doctors pay little attention to prescribing considering it a time consuming, bureaucratic procedure that disrupts them from medical tasks. Additionally the poor interface and design of CPOE system may contribute to the prescription deficiencies reported.
No conflict of interest.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.