ASSESSMENT OF PRESCRIPTION ERRORS OF PRECLINICAL MEDICAL AND DENTAL UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS IN A TEACHING COLLEGE
Keshab Raj Paudel*, Karma Murti Bhurtyal and Raju Panta
Background: Prescription errors are common findings in both academics and clinical settings. Methods: Three hundred thirty six (336) preclinical first and second year medical and dental students (medical= 270 and dental= 66) were enrolled in the study. Clinical cases were provided to the students as a part of final practical examination and hand-written prescriptions were collected and subject to analysis. Data for prescription errors were analyzed by Microsoft Office Excel and EpiInfo. Data were presented in the form of percentage and mean ± standard deviation (SD). Chi square test (Yates corrected) was applied to test the level of significance at 0.05 wherever applicable. Results: Prescription errors were more frequent for drug related components. The common prescription errors for first year medical students were strength (66%), frequency (62%), route (62%), total amount/refill (52%) and symbol (51%), and for second year medical students the common errors were amount/refill (52%), total amount (23%), strength (19%), duration (18%) and advice (17%). Similarly, the more frequent errors for first and second year dental students were strength of medicine (74%) followed by symbol (71%), frequency (56%), route (56%), dosage form and duration (44%), and strength of the medicine (69%) followed by frequency (63%), route/ duration (59%), total amount (59%) and follow-up/refill (38%) respectively. The second year students committed less frequent errors than the first year error. Out of 21 prescription elements assessed for prescription errors, the average number of errors per prescription among the different years ranges from 5.9 ± 2.7 (highest- first year dental students) to 2.3 ± 1.9 (lowest- second year medical students). The difference in the prescription errors between second year and first year dental students was P<0.05 (5.9 ± 2.7 vs. 4.4 ± 2.2). Conclusion: Drug related factors are more common areas of prescription errors for preclinical medical and dental students. Second year students commit less prescription errors than first year students.
Keywords: Dental, education, errors, medical, prescription.
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