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ARTICLE |

How to affect antibiotic prescribing practices

William A. Check
JAMA. 1980;244(23):2594-2595. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310230004002.
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ABSTRACT

It's too bad there were no behavioral scientists at the recent Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in New Orleans. They would have been delighted by the divergent results of four attempts to alter physician antibiotic prescribing practices. The four programs comprise a casebook of how and how not to go about altering behavior.

If you set guidelines but communicate them only by mail, you probably will not accomplish much, a study in Utah showed. In this effort, the Utah Professional Standards Review Organization (PSRO) sent all physicians in the state a booklet outlining appropriate prophylactic use of antibiotics in surgery. The publication defined operations in which such usage was not indicated—so-called clean operations—and recommended that in other operations antibiotic prophylaxis be started less than six hours before the procedure and continued for no more than 48 hours afterward.

Both before and after the booklet was sent out, prescribing

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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