Need for standard guidelines on treatment of certain illnesses

Sunday, October 7, 2012

New Delhi: Dr Kameshwar Prasad, head of the clinical epidemiology unit at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), has emphasised the need for preparing standard guidelines on treatment of certain illnesses so as to prevent doctors from prescribing unnecessary and outdated drugs, diagnostic tests and surgical procedures to their patients.

“On many occasions, doctors ask for tests that are unnecessary. Similarly, there are drugs that have become outdated or whose efficacy isn’t proven. But doctors keep prescribing them. Unless there are standard guidelines on treatment of certain illnesses, such misuse will keep happening,” said Dr Prasad.

Doctors at AIIMS who recently screened prescriptions of 250 brain stroke patients referred from different hospitals found more than 48 per cent of them were prescribed a particular drug, which is not approved.

According to Dr Prasad, “Every hospital should conduct an audit of various procedures carried out, say in a month. This would give us much-needed data about how prevalent each procedure is, and whether it is being misused.” [Source: ToI]

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Comment by DR.P.L.NAWALKHA
2012-10-07 15:10:11

i fully endorse dr.kameshwar prasad’s contention. the need of hour in allopathic system of medicine is audit of clinical work. the optimisation of investigation and clinical follow up based audit of treatment is not only a guideline for practicising doctor,,but a boon for just affordable class of patients . spending in ‘shopping’ for illness is another field requiring attention of senior medical professionls. wasted money and wasted hours are spent for ‘shopping’ encouraged by ‘unethical’ advertisements. medical council,expected tobe strong controlling body is reduced to ‘spineless’ group under care and control of ministry. today multifacetted unethical practices are flourishing freely as there is no check.

Comment by Dr. Jagruti Desai
2012-10-07 20:41:06

The American academy of ophthalmology publishes ‘ preferred practice pattern’ on the more common diseases . This should be done by all speciality associations .

Comment by Dr Sushma Nangia
2012-10-07 20:49:53

It is of utmost importance to have standard practice guidelines for various illnesses, especially the ones commonly treated by majority of physicians of a particular speciality. The rarer ones can still have individualistic approach at the hands of experts. BUT the big question is Who will ensure that these will be followed and what will be the fallout of not following these? Does MCI or MOHFW has the material or means to ensure these and the teeth to penalise defaulter physicians?

We have developed “Clinical practice guidelines” for certain common clinical entities in Neonatology but the practices are varied across the units and also within a unit it varies with the individual clinicians. Antibiotic usage is the biggest example of this. Within the same unit, where are microbiological flora is the same, the antibiotic used varies with the whims and fancies of the treating physician.

Comment by dr.umesh k malhotra
2012-10-09 00:31:29

rightly said, this is the need of the hour,medical science in is much advanced, but due to unorganised health system,there are not set protocols,this is the duty of MCI to set proper guidlines for all diseases in primary care set up.

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