The aim of this study was to carry out a quantitative and qualitative analysis of prescriptions at a tertiary-care hospital.Methods
A prospective, cross-sectional study was conducted at the medicine, surgery, obstetrics/gynaecology, paediatrics and orthopaedics outpatient departments (OPDs) of the Civil Hospital, Gujarat from April 2014 to June 2014. Systematic random sampling of ‘first encounter’ prescriptions at the dispensing pharmacy were used to select the prescriptions included in the study. The data was analysed using WHO core prescribing indicators. Qualitative evaluation was done using variables indicating the completeness of prescriptions.Results
Of the 1000 prescriptions randomly collected, 948 were analysed, with a mean number of 4.1 drugs per prescription. Of the 948 prescriptions, 24 % included an antimicrobial, 47 % included an analgesic, 1.5 % included an injectable formulation, and 67 % included a fixed-dose combination. Of the 3884 prescribed drugs, 2307 (59 %) were prescribed by generic name, and 3463 (89 %) were listed in the Essential Drug List of the Gujarat state. The majority of prescriptions mentioned route (99 %), frequency of administration (93 %) and duration of treatment (96 %), but less than half mentioned dosage (36 %) or provided patient instructions (41 %).Conclusion
A substantial number of medicines were prescribed by brand name and/or lacked appropriate dosage schedules and patient instructions. This suggests the need for a prescription audit and educational training for the prescribers/healthcare professionals.