Introduction: Many a times, Doctors’ hand-written prescriptions are difficult to read and interpret. This contributes to medication errors and jeopardizes safety of patients. This study essentially focussed on ‘Prescription Audit’ and reported incomplete and illegible handwritten prescriptions from Indian context.
Objective: To explore legibility and completeness of hand-written medical prescriptions.
Methodology: Hand-written medical prescriptions for 106 patients were collected by convenient sampling technique from the outdoor patient department (OPD) in a multi speciality tertiary care hospital of a teaching institute. These prescriptions were photographed and attached to the structured survey questionnaire, and were assessed by four experts from Pharmacy, Nursing and Medical Profession. 
Results: Out of 106, 88 prescriptions had patient’s first name written; whereas, only 33 prescriptions mentioned patient’s last name. None of the prescriptions had patient’s address on it. 66 prescriptions had legible drug name, whereas only 58 prescriptions had mentioned clear directions for the patient. All the prescriptions were incomplete with respect to the information related to patient’s age, gender, weight, registration number of prescriber and date. 
Conclusion: The majority of handwritten medical prescriptions were illegible and incomplete. This increases the risk of error in dispensing and administration of medication. This study suggests number of solutions in order to minimize prescription writing errors.
Keywords: illegible and incomplete prescriptions, prescription audit, prescription standards, prescription errors.  
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
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