Writing prescriptions: how to avoid common errors

Prescribing medicines is the primary tool used by most healthcare systems to cure illness, relieve symptoms and prevent future disease. Prescribing is probably the most complex intellectual task that doctors undertake, requiring the formulation of an appropriate treatment regimen from the many thousands available, taking into account the infinite variation in the patients they encounter. Not surprisingly, suboptimal prescribing is common and represents an obvious target for quality improvement in healthcare.

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