Antibiotic Prescribing via Telemedicine On the Rise

the MPR take:

Approximately one in every eight antibiotics are prescribed via telemedicine, specifically telephone encounters, reports a new study in the journal Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety. A retrospective cohort study of 114,610 patients receiving treatment from a large U.S. healthcare system from 2006–2010 compared rates and types of antibiotics prescribed via office visits vs. telephone contact. 12.4% of the antibiotic treatments were prescribed using telephone-based prescribing; this increased steadily from 2.2 to 4.2 per 100 patient-years over the course of the four years. The majority of antibiotics prescribed over the phone were for the treatment of urinary tract infections (28.3%), sinusitis (20.1%), and unspecified upper respiratory infection (15.0%). The researchers conclude that due to the increase in outpatient antibiotic prescribing by telemedicine, telephonic prescribing should be integrated into guidelines on appropriate antibiotic use and treatments.

Antibiotic Prescribing via Telemedicine On the Rise
Antibiotic Prescribing via Telemedicine On the Rise

Objectives: Little is known about the contribution of telephone-based prescribing on overall antibiotic utilization. The objective of this study was to determine the extent and characteristics of telephone-based antibiotic prescribing in teaching and non-teaching primary care practices. Methods: This retrospective cohort study...

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