Background: Rational use of medicines is a process of appropriate prescribing, dispensing and patient use of medicine for diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases and is essential to ensure the quality of health and medical care for patients and the effectiveness of medications used. However, the irrational use of medications in most health care systems in Ethiopia is considered to be a serious dilemma and leads to poor patient outcomes.
Objectives: The current study aimed to evaluate the prescribing pattern using the World Health Organization prescribing indicators at Batu Health Center, Central Ethiopia, located in the East Shewa zone in the Oromia region of Ethiopia.
Materials and methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted at Batu Health Center from January 1, 2017 to December 30, 2018. The World Health Organization prescribing indicators were used as a standard data collection tool for the evaluation and investigation of prescribing practices. Descriptive statistics were used for analyzing the data.
Results: In this study, we analyzed 700 patient prescriptions and found that the average number of medications per encounter was 1.996, with 99.43% for medications prescribed by generic name. The percentage of encounters with antibiotics and injections prescribed was 86.43% and 13.43%, respectively and 99.78% of medications were prescribed from the Ethiopian Essential Medication List, at Batu health center in Batu, Central Ethiopia.
Conclusion: The current study observed that out of the selected five tools, only the “percentage of patient prescriptions with injections prescribed” (pointer 4) was in line with the standard used.