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 language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||American family physician|
|State||Published - Jan 15 2007|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Family Practice