Key Points

• Physicians and other health care providers claim awareness of the problem of antibiotic resistance, created by the overuse of antibiotics. However, given the fact that inappropriate antibiotic use continues, this simple awareness is not sufficient to affect prescribing behavior.

• Antibiotic control policies, decision support models, academic detailing, clinical guidelines, audit-and-feedback, and multifaceted interventions have documented efficacy in altering antibiotic prescribing in controlled health care settings.

• The success of interventions in a wider prescribing community is less predictable, particularly when the focus of interventions expands to include other acute and chronic illnesses.

• Another method to limit the selection of resistant organisms is to prevent infection by immunizing patients at high risk. The national campaign, Healthy People 2000, has the goal to increase pneumococcal and other immunizations rates to 60% of people at high risk, including those 65 or older.

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Coping with Asthma

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