A Multifaceted Intervention to Improve Antimicrobial Prescribing for Upper Respiratory Tract Infections in a Small Rural Community

Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Clinical Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 8.89). 03/2005; 40(4):546-53. DOI: 10.1086/427500
Source: PubMed


Antibiotic prescribing for upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) is widespread, is often inappropriate, and may contribute to antibiotic resistance among community-acquired pathogens, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae.
A multifaceted intervention involving health care professionals and patients was introduced to a small rural Utah community and included the repetitive use of printed diagnostic and treatment algorithms by professionals. Data on the quantity and class of antibiotic prescribing, which were collected from multiple sources, were measured for the intervention period (from January through June) in 2001 and compared with data for the baseline period during the same months in 2000.
Medicaid claims data revealed that the percentage of patients in the community who received antibiotics for URTIs during the intervention period was 15.6% less than that for the baseline period, whereas the percentage in the rest of rural Utah was relatively stable, with a 1.5% decrease (P=.006). The greatest impact of the intervention was on prescribing for acute bronchitis (decreases of 56.1% and 1.7% in the community and rural Utah, respectively; P=.024) and on prescribing of macrolides (decreases of 13.4% and 0.2% in the community and rural Utah, respectively; P<.001). Community pharmacy data likewise revealed a 17.5% decrease in the rate of antibiotic prescribing during the intervention period (P<.001), with the largest decrease observed for macrolide prescribing (50.9%; P<.001). Chart review data, in contrast, revealed no significant decrease in the percentage of patients with URTI who were prescribed an antibiotic (3.8%; P=.49), although there was a significant decrease of 11.2% in macrolide use (P=.045).
A multifaceted intervention involving the repetitive use of printed algorithms resulted in modest improvements in antibiotic prescribing for outpatient URTIs, although one data source did not corroborate this. However, macrolide prescribing decreased sharply, irrespective of the source of data.

Full-text preview

Available from:
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Emergency departments (EDs) are a critical source of medical care in the U.S. Information is sparse concerning infectious disease visits among Medicaid entitlement enrollees nationwide. The objective of this study was to describe infectious diseases in terms of Medicaid/State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) as an expected source of payment. Data for 2003 from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) were analyzed for infectious disease visits. NHAMCS is a national probability sample survey of visits to hospital EDs and outpatient departments of nonfederal, short-stay, and general hospitals in the U.S. Data are collected annually and are weighted to generate national estimates. Nationally in 2003, an estimated 21.6 million visits were made to hospital EDs for infectious diseases (rate = 76 visits/1,000 people). Medicaid/SCHIP was the expected source of payment for an estimated 6.7 million infectious disease-related visits (rate = 200 visits/1,000 people covered by Medicaid). Children aged < 15 years made 39% of visits nationwide (nationwide rate = 139 visits/1,000 people). Of Medicaid visits, 63% were made by children < 15 years of age (Medicaid enrollees rate = 255 visits/1,000 people). The rate of visits for Medicaid enrollees was comparable for females and males (198 visits vs. 201/1,000 people). The rate of visits for black Medicaid enrollees was 33% higher than for white Medicaid enrollees (255 vs. 192 visits/1,000 people). Upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) is the most frequent infectious condition recorded at ED visits. An estimated 47% of ED visits with an expected pay source of Medicaid relate to URTIs (93 visits/1,000 people), compared with 38% of ED visits in general (29 visits/1,000 people). Medicaid enrollee-specific ED visit rates for infectious diseases were higher by age group, gender, race, and region, compared with national rates. Because approximately half of visits relate to URTIs for a Medicaid payment group, URTIs should form the basis for development of appropriate control strategies.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2007 · Public Health Reports

  • No preview · Article ·
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The use of antimicrobial drugs has saved countless lives and reduced the morbidity of infectious diseases. However, the growing threat from resistant microorganisms calls for cost-effective interventions to prevent the emergence of new resistant strains and the spread of existing ones. One approach to reduce the incidence of infections due to antibiotic-resistant organisms is to control the inappropriate use of antibiotics in both the hospital and community settings. In order to achieve this goal, it is necessary to identify the factors involved in physician’s antibiotic prescription patterns and to elaborate educational interventions that can be adapted to different clinical scenarios. Several studies in developed countries have shown the potential benefit of these interventions. However, developing countries pose a special situation as they lack adequate pharmacological surveillance systems, antimicrobial drugs are widely available to the public (even without prescription), and continuous medical education programs for physicians are non-existent. The implementation of educational programs directed to the judicious use of antimicrobial drugs might probe to be the most efficient intervention in developing countries in the worldwide battle against antimicrobial resistance.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2010
Show more