Article Type

Original Study


Objective The aim of this study was to improve drug prescriptions in family practice through assessment of the types and frequency of prescription errors in family practice. Background Prescription is a written directive, as for the compounding or dispensing and administration of drugs, or for other services to a particular patient. Prescriptions should be clear, legible, and written in plain English. A prescription has three components: superscription (patient and prescriber data, diagnosis, and date), inscription: the body of the prescription (Rx symbol, drug data, and instructions for drug intake), and subscription (refills and prescriber signature). Prescribing faults and prescription errors are major problems among medication errors; although they are rarely fatal, they can affect patients«SQ» safety and quality of healthcare. Patients and methods A retrospective study of all available prescriptions (No. 691) during the period of the study (323 prescriptions from the Menouf family health center and 368 prescriptions from Monshaat Soltan family health unit) was carried out. The site of the study was selected using a stratified multistage random sampling technique to select a family health center and unit representing the urban and rural family practice sites in Menoufia governorate. These prescriptions were examined according to the ideal prescription writing mentioned in the article. Results Only 33.3% prescriptions were dated, whereas patients«SQ» weight, height, and address were absent in all of the prescriptions studied. Prescriber information was present in 64.3% and prescriber signature was present in 98.6%. The generic name of the drugs was mentioned in only 31.3% of the prescriptions. Only about one-third of the prescriptions were complete. Conclusion Prescribing errors contribute significantly toward adverse drug events. The frequency of drug prescription errors is high. Physicians should be trained more rigorously to learn the art of prescription writing.