According to a latest circular issued by Directorate of Health Services Kashmir, all Chief Medical Officers and Medical Superintendents have been asked to follow prescription audit norms.
The circular, DHSK underlined, was necessitated as CMOs and the MSs have failed to comply with its order issued last year which requires them to nominate one Nodal Officer for District Hospital and Sub-District Hospital of their respective districts for collecting photocopies of at least one percent of prescriptions on random daily basis written by the government doctors in OPDs. They were also required to constitute a Prescription Audit Committee (PAC) comprising of doctors on administrative posts, excluding the consultants. Audit of prescription—a written order from the physician to pharmacist which contains the name of the drug, its dose and its method of dispensing and advice over consuming it—remain important. It’s a well researched fact that inappropriate use of drugs is a global health problem, especially in developing countries. 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.
It is important that the prescription is in line with the best practices mentioned in the World Health Organization guidelines as well as the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare which was founded in 2006.
While the DHSK has issued fresh circular, reminding the CMOs and MSs regarding the issue, they should act and constitute PAC without any delay to “avoid action as warranted under rules.” The PAC is required to prepare and submit reports to the directorate along with recommendations, highlighting the actionable points. The PAC needs to check if the medical practitioners are indulging in practices that go against medical ethics such as prescribing medicine not even required by the patient for mere promotional purposes. The PAC needs to also check if unnecessary diagnostic tests or procedures are prescribed and patients are referred to the private clinics or specialists without requirement.
One cannot ignore the complexity of the medical field. It is imperative for the administration to take appropriate measures for the holistic clinical audit and quality improvement process that seeks to improve patient care. The concerned authorities need to take action to ensure that drugs are prescribed in line with the provision of Drugs & Cosmetic Act & Regulations.