Objective: To compare the effectiveness of 2 interventions in improving prescribing of guideline-concordant durations of therapy for acute otitis media (AOM).
Study design: This was a quasi-experimental mixed methods analysis that compared a bundled quality improvement intervention consisting of individualized audit and feedback, education, and electronic health record (EHR) changes to an EHR-only intervention. The bundle was implemented in 3 pediatric clinics from January to August 2020 and an EHR-only intervention was implemented in 6 family medicine clinics. The primary outcome measure was prescription of an institutional guideline-concordant 5-day duration of therapy for children ≥2 years of age with uncomplicated AOM. Propensity score matching and differences-in-differences analysis weighted with inverse probability of treatment were completed. Implementation outcomes were assessed using the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance Framework. Balance measures included treatment failure and recurrence.
Results: In total, 1017 encounters for AOM were included from February 2019 to August 2020. Guideline-concordant prescribing increased from 14.4% to 63.8% (difference = 49.4%) in clinics that received the EHR-only intervention and from 10.6% to 85.2% (difference = 74.6%) in clinics that received the bundled intervention. In the adjusted analysis, the bundled intervention improved guideline-concordant durations by an additional 26.4% (P < .01) compared with the EHR-only intervention. Providers identified EHR-prescription field changes as the most helpful components. There were no differences in treatment failure or recurrence rates between baseline and either intervention.
Conclusions: Both interventions resulted in improved prescribing of guideline-concordant durations of antibiotics. The bundled intervention improved prescribing more than an EHR-only intervention and was acceptable to providers.
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