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J Educ Health Promot. 2019 Feb 15;8:37. doi: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_90_18. eCollection 2019.

A prescription audit using the World Health Organization-recommended core drug use indicators in a rural hospital of Delhi.

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Department of Community Medicine, MGM Medical College, Kishanganj, Bihar, India.
Department of Community Medicine, MAMC, New Delhi, India.
Department of Anaesthesiology, MGM Medical College, Kishanganj, Bihar, India.



The inappropriate use of drugs is a global health problem, especially in developing country like India. Irrational prescriptions have an ill effect on health as well as health-care expenditure. Prescription auditing is an important tool to improve the quality of prescriptions, which in turn improves the quality of health care provided. The present study was conducted to investigate the rational use of drugs for completeness, legibility, and against the World Health Organization (WHO)-recommended core drug use indicators.


A cross-sectional, outpatient department-based study was carried out in a rural hospital of Delhi wherein 120 prescriptions were randomly sampled, irrespective of patient characteristics and diagnosis over a period of 1 month. All the prescriptions were analyzed for general details, medical components, and WHO core drug use indicators. The data obtained were summed up and presented as descriptive statistics using the Microsoft Excel and were analyzed using SPSS version 16.


All the prescriptions had general details mentioned in it. The diagnosis was mentioned in 64.2% of prescriptions, and 85.8% of drugs were prescribed by generic name. An average of 3.02 drugs per encounter was prescribed. The average consultation time and dispensing time were 2.8 min and 1.2 min, respectively. Only half of the patients had correct knowledge of dose.


Our study highlights the need to train our prescribing doctors on writing rational prescriptions for quality improvement.


Core indicators; World Health Organization; prescription audit; quality; rational prescription

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