A randomized controlled trial of point-of-care evidence to improve the antibiotic prescribing practices for otitis media in children

Pediatrics. 2001 Feb;107(2):E15. doi: 10.1542/peds.107.2.e15.


Context: Prescribing practices for otitis media are not consistent with current evidence-based recommendations.

Objective: To determine whether point-of-care evidence delivery regarding the use and duration of antibiotics for otitis media decreases the duration of therapy from 10 days and decreases the frequency of prescriptions written.

Design: Randomized, controlled trial.

Setting: Primary care pediatric clinic affiliated with university training program. Intervention. A point-of-care evidence-based message system presenting real time evidence to providers based on their prescribing practice for otitis media.

Main outcome measures: Proportion of prescriptions for otitis media that were for <10 days and frequency with which antibiotics were prescribed.

Results: Intervention providers had a 34% greater reduction in the proportion of time they prescribed antibiotics for <10 days. Intervention providers were less likely to prescribe antibiotics than were control providers.

Conclusions: A point-of-care information system integrated into outpatient pediatric care can significantly influence provider behavior for a common condition.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical*
  • Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Otitis Media / drug therapy*
  • Pediatrics*
  • Point-of-Care Systems*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents