2% of providers wrote 25% of Tennessee's pediatric antibiotic prescriptions in 2016

Less than 2 percent of providers were responsible for nearly a quarter of the antibiotic prescriptions written for children in Tennessee outpatient settings in 2016, according to a study published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

Researchers analyzed 2016 data on more than 1.9 million outpatient antibiotic prescriptions written for patients under age 20 in Tennessee, a state known for its high antibiotic use.

Five study findings:

1. The average outpatient antibiotic prescribing rate for Tennessee providers was 1,165 prescriptions per 1,000 population — about 50 percent higher than the national rate.

2. Just 360 prescribers, or 1.7 percent, were responsible for nearly 25 percent of all pediatric outpatient antibiotic prescriptions.

3. Physicians wrote the most antibiotic prescriptions of all providers, at 54 percent.

4. Pediatricians who graduated from medical school before 2000 were far more likely to be high antibiotic prescribers.

5. Prescribing rates varied greatly by county. The lowest county saw a rate of 39 prescriptions per 1,000 population, compared to the highest county, which had a rate of 2,482 prescriptions per 1,000.

To view the full study, click here.

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