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.
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...