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Assessment of legibility and completeness of prescriptions dispensed at State Pharmaceutical Corporation, Anuradhapura

Authors:

D Rathish ,

Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, LK
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S Bahini,

Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, LK
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T Sivakumar,

Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, LK
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T Thiranagama,

Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, LK
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T Abarajithan,

Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences,Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, LK
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Buddhika Wijerathne,

Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences,Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, LK
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C Jayasumana,

Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, LK
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S Siribaddana

Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences,Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, LK
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Abstract

Background

Illegibility and incompleteness of drug prescription leads to medical error. We assessed legibility and completeness of prescriptions dispensed at State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC), Anuradhapura.

Methods

A cross sectional study was conducted at SPC, Anuradhapura. Ethical clearance was obtained from the Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka. A 3-point Likert scale and a checklist (developed from WHO manual and BNF) were used to assess legibility and completeness respectively.

Results

Thousand prescriptions over a period of four months were collected. Number of drugs per prescription was 3.95 (SD 2.2). Most of the prescriptions were hand written (99.8%) and from the private sector (72%). However, 16% of the prescriptions were from government sector and the rest were unclassified. Greater proportion of the prescriptions was legible with effort (65%). Illegible prescriptions were 9%. Name (94%), age (79%), gender (70%), name of prescriber (90%), signature of prescriber (84%), place of prescribing (76%), contact details of prescriber (53%), qualifications of the prescriber (86%), prescriber's rubber-stamp (89%), dose (93%), frequency (97%), duration (92%), and date (88%) were present in more than half of the prescriptions. Address (5%), SLMC registration number (35%), route of administration (7%), generic name (16%), treatment symbol (48%), diagnosis (41%) and refill information (6%) were seen in less than half of the prescriptions. Drug duplications were found in 0.3% of the prescriptions. Route of administration (90%), generic name (87%), frequency (68%) and duration (84%) were correct in most. Dose (67%) and prescriber's rubber-stamp (64%) were incorrect and incomplete respectively in most.

Conclusion

Absence of route of administration and generic name, incorrect dose and incomplete rubber-stamp of the prescriber were common findings. Prescribers’ behavior and motives in the above mentioned issues might need to be probed in more detailed manner (e.g. root cause analysis). 

DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/amj.v9i2Supp.7554
How to Cite: Rathish, D. et al., (2015). Assessment of legibility and completeness of prescriptions dispensed at State Pharmaceutical Corporation, Anuradhapura. Anuradhapura Medical Journal. 9(2Supp), p.S05. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/amj.v9i2Supp.7554
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Published on 28 Oct 2015.
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