Evaluating a prescription clinic at a primary health centre

Preca, Justine Farrugia; Abela, Jurgen C.
May 2014
Malta Medical Journal;2014, Vol. 26 Issue 2, p18
Academic Journal
Introduction: One of the pillars of a good primary health system is the establishment of a good doctorpatients relation. Amongst other things, this will result in mutually accepted treatment plans, which are understood by all parties involved. This study aimed to describe and analyze one particular aspect of this care delivery, namely the repeat prescription clinic. In this clinic, which is run on an appointment basis, prescriptions are issued on a regular basis to patients and their relatives. Method: A piloted questionnaire describing patients' demographics, diseases and treatment knowledge, was filled in during three randomly chosen clinics in November 2011. Results: The clinic is attended by a relative majority of male clients, but both genders showed a peak attendance in the 60-69 age group. An average of 4 medications per person were prescribed and treatment in each patients was aimed at an average of 3 co-existent disease states. 56% of female attendees knew the complete list of their respective treatment as opposed to 45% of males attendees. Unfortunately, 73% of patients did not know the treatment they were on and did not have an up-to-date treatment list. Conclusion: This study highlights the lack of knowledge of patients with respect to their treatment. However it can also be argued that this is a reflection of inadequate care being provided by doctors in the various fields. The clinic takes care of a significant number of patients whose treatment is not accounted for. This raises issues of safe prescribing. There is a need that all patients have an up-to-date treatment card, and a need for improvement in communication between all health care workers is noted, so as to improve the safety of all prescription practices in the island. This will lead to better disease control, less treatment interactions, and prescription errors.


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