Long-term experience with a program to improve prescription-writing skills

Fam Med. 1994 Mar;26(3):168-71.


Background: Prescription-writing skills are often overlooked in resident education. The present study evaluates a method of improving prescription-writing skills over a 2-year period.

Methods: This was a prospective, nonblinded, nonrandomized trial of an educational method to improve prescription-writing abilities of a class of 12 family practice residents. The intervention included evaluation and feedback of prescription writing by a clinical pharmacist using copies of prescriptions written over a 2-year period and applying previously defined criteria for determining prescription-writing errors.

Results: The baseline prescription-writing error rate was 14.4%. Over the 2-year intervention, prescription-writing errors by all residents decreased to 6.0% (P = .0002). Error rates decreased 58% from the baseline during the last 6 months of the intervention (P = .001).

Conclusions: Continuous evaluation and feedback improved prescription-writing skills and improved communication with pharmacists and patients.

MeSH terms

  • Drug Prescriptions*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Feedback
  • Hospitals, Community
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Medication Errors
  • Outpatient Clinics, Hospital
  • Pharmacists
  • Prospective Studies
  • Writing*