Attitutdes of House Physicians Concerning Various Antibiotic-Use Control Programs

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Medical and surgical house physicians at three teaching hospitals with different antibiotic control programs (ACPs) were surveyed to determine their attitudes about and preferences for these programs. Questionnaires were mailed to resident physicians who had trained at all three hospitals. One hospital had no antibiotic prescribing policy (open prescribing), one employed an infectious-disease physician consultant who discussed antibiotic orders for certain reserved drugs with prescribing physicians but did not otherwise restrict access to the drugs (educational ACP), and the third hospital required approval of an infectious-disease physician for dispensing of reserved drugs by the pharmacy department (restrictive ACP). The survey response was 77% after one follow-up mailing to nonrespondents. Regardless of hospital type, physicians preferred the educational ACP to either open prescribing or the restrictive ACP. Based on personal experiences, significantly fewer physicians encountered patient-care problems with the educational ACP than with either open antibiotic prescribing or the restrictive ACP. Significantly more physicians perceived that the educational ACP was more beneficial for patient antibiotic therapy and will be more beneficial for future antibiotic prescribing than the restrictive ACP. Most respondents believed that ACPs save hospitals money, that ACPs can be implemented without compromising either patient care or physician performance, and that they would encounter similar ACPs in the future. Educational ACPs should be considered at teaching hospitals with interested infectious-disease consultants.

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