Auditing of Pediatric Outpatient Prescriptions in Primary Healthcare Centers

Published on:January 2021
Indian Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 2021; 14(1):20-26
Original Article | doi:10.5530/ijopp.14.1.5

Auditing of Pediatric Outpatient Prescriptions in Primary Healthcare Centers

Authors and affiliation (s):

Ahmed Abdulrahman Albarraq

Pharmacy Practice Research Unit, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Jazan University, Jazan, SAUDI ARABIA.


Background: Prescription writing errors can significantly impact the pediatric population. Aim: To audit the physicians’ prescription writing pattern for pediatric outpatients in primary healthcare centers in Saudi Arabia. Objective: Evaluating the practice of prescription writing based on the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation, to assess medication errors and the communication gap between the prescriber, pharmacist and the patient. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in randomly selected primary healthcare centers in Jazan. Data was recorded from 950 prescriptions available with caregivers of pediatric patients visiting the primary healthcare centers between August to December 2017. Data were evaluated as per the core prescribing indicators of WHO. Results: The average number of drugs per prescription were 2.30, and information about patients’ age (54.3 %), weight (73.7 %), diagnosis (28.8 %), prescriber’s name (6.1 %), signature (3.4 %), refill information (97.8 %), regimen of therapy (34.8 %), strength of unit dosage forms (3.2 %), dose information (5.0 %), and instructions (6.2 %) was missing. The number of prescribed generic medications were 53.6 %. Overall, 58.9 % of collected prescriptions contained antibiotics and the most dispensed classes were penicillin (72.5 %), followed by cephalosporins (12.40 %). Conclusion: The study affirmed the lapses of several vital components in prescriptions. Updating prescription writing according to WHO guidelines and usage of newer technologies to generate orders can minimize prescribing and dispensing errors. The outcomes of the study strongly suggests the need of pharmacists intervention in reducing prescription-related errors through the practice of pharmaceutical care.

Key words: Primary healthcare centers, Prescribing pattern, Pediatric, Outpatient, Saudi Arabia.


The Official Journal of Association of Pharmaceutical Teachers of India (APTI)
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Indian Journal of Pharmacy Practice (IJOPP) [ISSN-0974-8326] is the official journal of Association of Pharmaceutical Teachers of India (APTI) and is being published since 2008.


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