In early 2008, UCA revamped its annual survey in conjunction with researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University with the goal of assuring that the UCA Benchmarking Committee’s efforts produced a scientifically valid report.

Over the coming months in Developing Data, JUCM will present some of the findings from this landmark survey, to which 436 urgent care centers responded.

In this issue: What percentage of urgent care physicians rely on clinical guidelines for treatment decisions? And how does that compare with their reliance on clinical guidelines when prescribing antibiotics?

Clearly, the data show there is very little difference between the influence of clinical guidelines on overall treatment decisions and their influence on antibiotic prescribing. As urgent care matures and benchmarking data come to reflect a longer period of time, it will be interesting to see whether trends in antibiotic resistance change commonly accepted recommendations, and whether clinicians respond with more or less compliance.

Acknowledgement: Data submitted by Robin M. Weinick, PhD, then assistant professor, Harvard Medical School and senior scientist, Institute for Health Policy, Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Weinick is also a member of the JUCM Advisory Board. Financial support for this study was provided by UCA.

If you are aware of new data that you’ve found useful in your practice, let us know via e-mail to [email protected] We’ll share your discovery with your colleagues in an upcoming issue of JUCM.

Developing Data: April, 2009