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Big appeal to the medical profession: antibiotics are prescribed less frequently and correctly


New project to promote more sensitive use of antibiotics
Antibiotics help to fight bacterial infectious diseases and thereby prevent the spread of pathogens. However, the agents are used far too often and incorrectly, which leads to an increasing resistance of the pathogens to antibiotics. The Association of Substitute Health Insurance Funds (vdek) therefore appeals to doctors to use the funds more cautiously in future and only in justified cases.

Too often, doctors unnecessarily prescribe antibiotics. As a recent study by the Australian Bond University showed, the active ingredients are often used incorrectly, especially in acute respiratory infections. Respiratory diseases such as cough or bronchitis are mostly caused by viruses - but antibiotics only work against bacteria. Accordingly, the drugs remain ineffective in many patients and instead lead to side effects and increasing antibiotic resistance.

The 2014 DAK Health report also showed that in 2013 almost 30 percent of antibiotic prescriptions were “questionable” with regard to diagnosis. In many respiratory diseases, the drugs were often prescribed contrary to the treatment guidelines, according to the DAK-Gesundheit.

Medical professionals too often prescribe broad-spectrum antibiotics
In order to curb the inflationary use of antibiotics, the Association of Substitute Health Insurance Funds (vdek) wants to motivate doctors to use the funds for acute respiratory diseases in a more targeted manner and to further limit the number of unnecessary prescriptions. The framework is provided by the “RESIST” care program, which was launched in April this year and which the vdek developed in cooperation with the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV), reports the association in a statement.

“Often, the expectations of patients felt by doctors play a role. For example, some patients think that an antibiotic will help them recover faster. However, the expectations of patients are often overestimated. Also, based on the wrong assumption, being on the 'safe side' too often means that broad-spectrum antibiotics are prescribed, ”says Rostock University Medical Director Prof. Attila Altiner.

The focus is on communication between doctor and patient
The program focuses on information and doctor-patient communication. RESIST stipulates that patients with suspected respiratory infections should receive special advice from a general practitioner, pediatrician, otolaryngologist or a specialist in internal medicine. According to the announcement, around 3000 doctors should have completed a special online training program by autumn so that the concept can be implemented in everyday practice.

"Our goal is to make doctors and patients more sensitive to antibiotics and thereby improve the quality of care," said Ulrike Elsner, CEO of vdek. (No)

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