Rates of inappropriate antibiotic use remain high in Michigan hospitals despite educational campaigns, according to an issue brief released by the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation.
Inappropriate antibiotic use still high, center finds
Using data from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan, researchers from the center analyzed trends in antibiotic use from 2007 to 2009. Although overall antibiotic prescribing rates dropped 9.3% during the three-year period, rates among children rose 4.5%.
In many regions, prescribing rates were as high as 80% for viral infections such as bronchitis, which are not helped or cured by antibiotics. Overall prescribing rates varied widely, although they were lower in the communities surrounding Detroit.
"The continuing high rate of antibiotic use for viral infections in children and adults—particularly outside of southeast Michigan—is of great concern, as is the increase in the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics in children," CHRT director Marianne Udow-Phillips said in a news release.
One reason for higher prescribing rates among children could be the lack of pediatricians in more-rural regions of the state, said Dr. Gary Freed, chief of the division of general pediatrics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
"The CDC's outreach efforts were focused on pediatricians, and in areas where there are more pediatricians, the antibiotic prescribing rate for pediatric patients is lower," Freed said in the release. "This may indicate that the campaign did work as intended, and could be broadened to include other physicians."
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