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Physician Misdiagnosis Leads to Inappropriate Antibiotic Use, Study Finds

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Findings of a study published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology show that 95% of inpatients at a VA hospital in Minneapolis with an incorrect or indeterminate diagnosis, were given inappropriate antibiotics, as opposed to 38% who were accurately diagnosed, yet administered incorrect medication.

Antibiotic resistance and the rise of superbugs has created a nightmare for health systems within the United States as physicians struggle to administer an appropriate medication to rein-in bacterial infections.

Findings of a study published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology show that 95% of inpatients at a VA hospital in Minneapolis with an incorrect or indeterminate diagnosis, were given inappropriate antibiotics, as opposed to 38% who were accurately diagnosed, yet administered incorrect medication. These numbers could lead to increased costs to the healthcare system from drug resistance and clinical failure. The authors point to seevral factors that can lead to the misdiagnosis, including inexperience, reliance on intution rather than analytical tools, fatigue, and cognitive overload. They recommend that antibiotic stewardship programs should help physicians make accurate initial diagnosis and to know when antibiotics can be safely withheld.

Read the news release on EurekAlert!: http://bit.ly/1PvhccR

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