Survey of drug use practices and antibiotic prescribing pattern at a general hospital in Nigeria
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Objective: To describe the current drug use practices at the institution, and gather baseline data, which can serve as a basis for designing an appropriate intervention to improve the drug use profile. Method: A retrospective audit of in- and out-patient prescriptions, generated during the period January–March 1999. Indicators of drug use pattern include: average number of drugs prescribed per encounter (ANDPE), average number of antibiotics prescribed per encounter (ANAPE), % encounter with antibiotics (PEA), percent of antibiotic prescriptions based on microbial sensitivity test results (MCST). Additionally, a “knowledge, attitude and practice” (KAP) survey of prescribers and dispensers was performed. Indicators of prescribing and dispensing quality include: sources of drug/prescribing information, availability and use of the hospital formulary, knowledge of the prescribing process and the adequacy of the drug supply management system.Results: A total of 9984 outpatient prescriptions and 127 in-patient case notes were audited. The total number of prescribers and dispensers surveyed were 88 and 13 respectively. The ANDPE was found to be 3.16 for out-patients and 9.7 for in-patients, ANAPE was 1.1and 2.4 for out-patients and inpatients respectively. The PEA was 50.3% for out-patients and 96.7% for in-patients. Only 4.2% of in-patient antibiotic prescriptions were based on MCST and percent encounter with switches in antimicrobial therapy was 52.1% while the average number of switches per encounter was 1.35. In 18.5% of the in-patient encounters there was evidence of drug incompatibilities. The KAP survey revealed that prescribers and dispensers in the hospital rely on different sources for their drug information needs (MIMS vs Martindale Extrapharmacoepia). None of the prescribers surveyed was able to correctly enumerate all the 4 steps involved in the prescribing process, about 25% got at least 2 steps correctly, and only 9.1% of the dispensers surveyed could accurately define a hospital formulary. The drug supply management system was found to be inadequate. Conclusion: The survey revealed that appreciable gaps in knowledge with respect to rational drug use, still exists among these cadre of healthcare professionals. The foregoing suggests an urgent need for review of current policies and systems in the hospital with the view of enhancing the drug use practices of the health providers. Specifically it is recommended that there should be an intervention program involving concerted continuing education (to influence the KAP of the various cadre of healthcare providers) and the establishment of a hospital formulary / standard treatment guidelines.
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