Comparing Adherence to standards of Prescription Writing between Certified Family Physicians and General Practitioners working in Primary Health Care Centers in Jeddah

Dr. Saeed Al Ghamdi

Joint Program Family & Community Medicine, Jeddah – 2014

BACKGROUND: As good quality prescriptions are crucial for minimizing errors in the dispensing of medications, physicians adherence to the standards of prescription writing is for the benefit of the patients.

OBJECTIVES: To determine adherence to acceptable standards of prescription writing among PHC physicians working at Primary Health Care Centers in Jeddah, 2015 and to compare between certified family physicians and general practitioners regarding the same issues.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A comparative cross-sectional analysis was applied to a sample of certified family physicians and general practitioners prescriptions, who had been working at 10 randomly selected primary health care centers, Ministry of Health (MOH), Jeddah city. All drug prescriptions in each chosen center over a one week period (23rd August to 27th August 2015) were collected. Through a simple random technique, 25 prescriptions were written by general practitioners and another 25 written by certified family physicians were chosen. Overall 500 prescriptions were analyzed for adherence to recommended standards.

RESULTS: Out of the total 500 prescriptions examined, 477 (95.4%) contained name of the prescriber, 498 (99.6%) has a signature and 437 (87.4%) was stamped. PHCC address was recorded in 312 (62.4%) and prescription date in 406 (81.2%) prescription orders. Regarding patient`s data, the name was reported in all prescriptions. Weight was reported in only 136 (27.2%) of the prescriptions. The diagnosis was reported in 467 (93.4%), the dose in 460 (92%) and P a g e | VII frequency in 462 (92.4%) of prescription orders. Whereas strength was reported in 218 (43.6%) and allergy to drugs in 257 (51.4%) of prescriptions.

CONCLUSION: All of the recommended information for the prescriber, patients, and medication were present in only a minority of prescriptions while some of the basic required components of prescription orders that could have medical, economic and medico-legal importance were sub optimally present in the prescriptions.

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