Kaiser Permanente in Southern California reports that using computer alerts to inform physicians when antibiotics may not be the best course of treatment for sinusitis reduced the chance of an antibiotic being prescribed—with some qualifiers. The study, published recently in the American Journal of Managed Care, tracked nearly 22,000 cases of acute sinusitis in adults in primary care and urgent care offices. Researchers found that clinical decision support was associated with a 22% decrease in antibiotic use postintervention, but that absolute reduction was far smaller (2%). Further, the effect of provider education waned as the study wore on. However, they also noted that intervention was associated with a decrease in acute sinusitis diagnoses compared with other common upper respiratory infections.

Data Quantify Value of Physician Ed in Reducing Antibiotic Prescriptions
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