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Am J Manag Care. 2003 Aug;9(8):548-52.

Analysis of factors associated with increased prescription illegibility: results from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, 1990-1998.

Author information

1
Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre (Sunnybrook campus), Toronto, Ontario, Canada. agupta@execulink.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To estimate the incidence of, and the variables affecting, illegible drug prescriptions in the United States.

METHODS:

Illegible notations of medications (ie, drug mentions) on the patient record form used for data collection in the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey from 1990 to 1998 were used as a proxy for the incidence of illegible prescriptions in the United States.

RESULTS:

The average incidence of illegible mentions was 1.44%. Increased age of patient, female sex, urban practice setting, increased number of diagnoses and prescriptions written during the visit and seeing a family physician or internist were associated with an increased probability of at least 1 illegible drug mention.

CONCLUSION:

Distinct characteristics are associated with a higher incidence of illegible prescriptions. Multiple diagnoses and an increased number of prescriptions, both of which contribute to the complexity of a patient visit, are especially likely to be associated with at least 1 illegible prescription per visit. Physicians need to recognize factors contributing to illegible prescriptions to maintain high standards of care.

PMID:
12921232
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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