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Public Health Rep. 1975 Sep-Oct;90(5):402-8.

A study of the quality of prescriptions issued in a busy pediatric emergency room.


An analysis of 2,213 prescriptions written by physicians in a busy, urban pediatric emergency room revealed that only 110 or 5 percent had no errors or omissions of specifications. The quality of the prescriptions was evaluated according to the standards of acceptable prescribing for the following specifications: quantity, dosage, time interval between doses or specific hours to be given, and specific instructions. The hospital pharmacists, also under pressure, generally failed to monitor the prescriptions adequately--either they did not rectify the physicians' errors or at times they made incorrect changes. To improve the quality of prescriptions issued under pressure in an emergency room, several courses of action are recommended: Pharmacology departments of medical schools should place more emphasis on teaching students the art of writing explicit, comprehensible prescriptions. The physician and pharmacist should work as a team in the interest of providing patients with accurate and detailed prescriptions; or both the physician and the pharmacist should delegate the composition of prescriptions to an automated computer system, thereby reducing human error in writing and monitoring prescriptions and allowing both professionals more time for direct contact with patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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