Antibiotic resistance due to over-prescribing is a critical problem for society. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a nurse-led quality-assurance-based program designed to decrease inappropriate antibiotic prescribing rates in patients suffering from viral upper respiratory tract infections. The study was based in a network of community health centers in the Southeastern United States. A quasi-experimental design based upon pre- and postintervention measurement via chart reviews was utilized in the study. Both the pre- and postintervention chart reviews revealed high levels of inappropriate prescribing. Following intervention, no gross decrease in prescribing rates was noted. Qualitative differences were noted postintervention that included increased rates of prescriptions for delayed antibiotic therapy and decreased rates of reflexive prescription writing for farmers. Additionally, the results reflected the decreased use of broad-spectrum antibiotics after the intervention. Although the study utilized a limited sample, it shows promise for the use of quality assurance approaches in moderating inappropriate prescribing practices.
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Whyte J 4th