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Indian Journal of Community Medicine

Book Review

Author(s): Dr. Arun Kumar Aggarwal, Dr. B.T. Rao

Vol. 30, No. 4 (2005-10 - 2005-12)

Patient Care in Government: Trends in Disease and Prescriptions By Rupinder Walia & Anurag Agarwal.

Published at Serling Publishers (Pvt.) Ltd., New Delhi; medium sized, jacket blue cover, pages 152 at cost of Rs. 400/-

For medical care, patients are usually at mercy of health care providers. In to-days era, with increased awareness and easy availability of all technical information on internet, this culture of silance about not questioning medical practitioners about their medical practices is gradualy dissolving. It this context it is pertinent to examine our own practices. Authors of this book have done a good effort to undertake the prescription audit. Prescription surveys are components of the medical audit which provide a relatively unbiased picture of prescribing habits and also identifies aberrant or suboptimal prescribing.

Study was conducted in 45 secondary care hospitals including district, sub divisional hospitals and community health centres.

The survey involved retrospective screening of over a hundred thousand OPD prescriptions of government hospitals of Punjab providing secondary health care services. With such a large sample size it was possible to evaluate pediatric, adult and geriatric patients. Disease morbidity, Drug utilizaiton, Core prescribing Indicators (Developed by WHO), Antimicrobial prescription pattern, Trends in prescribing in some common diseases, has been described.

They have described their observations in 64 tables and 18 graphs. Results have been described age groupwise, disease wise, drug utilizaiton wise etc. They have also suggested some core indicators related to each aspect. However, they have not taken any gold standard and have not validated the existing practices. But this study would act as an important bench mark for making some changes in future. The book can act as important resource for students, teachers, trainers and practitioners of hospital administration. Observations would be useful for drug inventory management at secondary care level.

Dr. Arun Kumar Aggarwal,
Assistant Professor
Dr. B.T. Rao, Senior Resident
School of Public Health,
Deptt. of Community Medicine,
PGIMER, Chandigarh.

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