Why are physicians more likely to prescribe antibiotics later in the day? 5 things to know

As the day concludes, so does mental strength. As a result, physicians tend to prescribe more antibiotics, according to athenaInsight.

Here are five findings from athenahealth network data:

1. Stressful work schedules and frequent decision making means physicians are particularly prone to decision fatigue, according to athenaInsight. Throughout the day, decisions become tougher as mental strength and willpower decrease.

2. An analysis of 175,000 interactions between physicians and non-elderly patients with acute respiratory infections found physicians were 13 percent more inclined to prescribe antibiotics by the 13th appointment.  

3. By the 24th appointment, those physicians were 19 percent more likely to prescribe antibiotics.

4. Thirteen percent of all outpatient visits, about 154 million every year, conclude with antibiotic prescriptions, according to a Pew Charitable Trust analysis.

5. Medical Director Ann Thomas of Oregon Health Authority’s Alliance Working for Antibiotic Resistance Education stated physicians may be less likely to make tough discussions about antibiotics after a long day of negotiating against antibiotic use, according to athenaInsight.

Mrs. Thomas does not think decision fatigue is the sole culprit, but rather negotiation and ″talking with patients all day fatigue″ affects decision making, according to athenaInsight.

More articles on physicians:
7 statistics on how millennial physicians approach care delivery 
This medical student is openly confronting her depression, anxiety
How Louisiana is making its physician shortage worse 


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