Part of the problem of antibiotic resistanceÂ involves physiciansâ€™ habits. Doctors are used to prescribing antibiotics in certain situations, even when they may be inappropriate or when alternatives may be best. However, they may be susceptible to â€œnudgesâ€, even if health care organization policies donâ€™t formally restrict their choices. Former White House regulatory policy guru Cass Sunstein has written several books on this concept.
In March 2015, MD/PhD student Kira Newman and colleagues published a studyÂ in Journal of General Internal Medicine that has some bearing on this idea, althoughÂ it doesnâ€™t address antibiotic resistance directly:
Yelp for Prescribers: a Quasi-Experimental Study of Providing Antibiotic Cost Data and Prescription of High-Cost Antibiotics in an Academic and Tertiary Care Hospital.
The authors describe a shift involving the Emory University hospital electronic health record and order entry system. When a patient has systemic or urinary tract bacterial infection, the system shows a table of antibiotic sensitivity data alongside blood or urine culture results.
Beginning in May 2010, cost category data for antibiotics were added. Explicit numbers were not included â€“ too complicated. Instead, the information was coded in terms of $ to $$$$. For the year after the change, the authors report a 31 percent reduction in average cost per unit of antibiotics prescribed. Read more
Kenneth Thorpe, PhD
Researchers and medical experts will be meeting Wednesday morning, Jan. 12 in Washington, DC, at a symposium on “Medical Innovation at the Crossroads: Choosing the Path Ahead.” Emory Universityâ€™s Kenneth Thorpe, PhD, chair of the Department of Health Policy & Management, Rollins School of Public Health, and other health care experts, commentators and journalists, will discuss the most effective federal policy strategies for U.S. medical innovation aimed at job creation, economic recovery and health security.
The symposium is sponsored by the Council for American Medical Innovation.
For more information, view the council’s recent video on medical innovation.
Not long ago, polio, a crippling and dreaded disease, seemed unstoppable. But thanks to innovative medical research, the disease met its match in a vaccine developed in the early 1950s by American scientists. Today America and the world still face diseases that cripple and kill.Â But with ongoing innovations in medicine and science, diseases such as diabetes and HIV/AIDs may one day meet their match, too.
On a related note, Thorpe, who regularly blogs for the Huffington Post, has written a new article, “Medical Advancements: Who Is Leading the World?”