- Do in-office physicians prescribe antibiotics for acute respiratory infection differently than Teledoc (telemedicine) providers?
Patterns of antibiotic prescribing behavior show that both telemedicine and office-based clinicians over-prescribed antibiotics to treat acute respiratory infections, but telemedicine clinicians tended to prescribe broad-spectrum antibiotics.
- Overall, antibiotics were prescribed at about the same rate by office-based physicians and Teledoc providers.
- Both settings had high rates of antibiotics prescribed inappropriately for conditions such as bronchitis.
- Teledoc providers prescribed broad-spectrum antibiotics more often than office-based physicians, which may be a conservative practice in response to having little diagnostic information.
- Timely feedback to physicians could help adjust provider behavior, and patient educational campaigns could help reduce consumer demand.
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