Appropriate prescribing of medications: An eight-step approach

Madelyn Pollock, Oralia V. Bazaldua, Alison E. Dobbie

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

A systematic approach advocated by the World Health Organization can help minimize poorquality and erroneous prescribing. This six-step approach to prescribing suggests that the physician should (1) evaluate and clearly define the patient's problem; (2) specify the therapeutic objective; (3) select the appropriate drug therapy; (4) initiate therapy with appropriate details and consider nonpharmacologic therapies; (5) give information, instructions, and warnings; and (6) evaluate therapy regularly (e.g., monitor treatment results, consider discontinuation of the drug). The authors add two additional steps: (7) consider drug cost when prescribing; and (8) use computers and other tools to reduce prescribing errors. These eight steps, along with ongoing self-directed learning, compose a systematic approach to prescribing that is efficient and practical for the family physician. Using prescribing software and having access to electronic drug references on a desktop or handheld computer can also improve the legibility and accuracy of prescriptions and help physicians avoid errors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-236
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican family physician
Volume75
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice

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