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Palms DL, Hicks LA, Bartoces M, et al. Comparison of Antibiotic Prescribing in Retail Clinics, Urgent Care Centers, Emergency Departments, and Traditional Ambulatory Care Settings in the United States. JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178(9):1267–1269. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.1632
Antibiotic use contributes to antibiotic resistance and is associated with adverse events, including Clostridium difficile infections.1 Antibiotic overuse, especially for viral respiratory infections, is common.2 Only 60% of outpatient antibiotic prescriptions dispensed in the United States are written in traditional ambulatory care settings (hereinafter “medical offices”) and emergency departments (EDs).2 Growing markets, including urgent care centers and retail clinics, may contribute to the remaining 40%.3,4 Our objective was to compare antibiotic prescribing among urgent care centers, retail clinics, EDs, and medical offices.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study using the 2014 Truven Health MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters Database, which captures claims data on individuals younger than 65 years with employer-sponsored insurance.5 The National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases human subjects advisor deemed these to be deidentified data and thus exempt from ethical approval and patient written informed consent.
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