Antibiotic prescribing is rampant at urgent care and retail clinics. Does this surprise anyone?
JAMA Internal Medicine recently published a study including 2.7 million urgent care visits, 48,000 retail clinic visits, 4.8 million emergency department visits and 148.5 million medical office visits. Read this…. there are a sufficient number of patient visits to extrapolate antibiotic prescription habits in different locales.
In the study, antibiotic prescriptions are linked to 39% of urgent care and 36.4 of retail clinics. This contrasts with 13.8% of emergency department visits and 7.1% of medical offices.
For suspected viral respiratory illnesses which antibiotic use is inappropriate, antibiotic prescriptions were given at 45.7% of urgent care visits whereas emergency departments gave antibiotics 24.5% of the time. Medical offices gave antibiotics 17% of the time and 14.4% of retail clinic visits.
The risk is that antibiotic over-prescription may cause antibiotic resistance. This is important when a patient truly has a bacterial infection. You would like antibiotics to work when INDEED you need it.
Your best care is given by a physician who knows you, who you trust. Secure a primary care physician and cultivate a relationship. Your healthcare would be more individualized, with better follow up.