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.