Clinical practice guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of respiratory tract infections

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10 Scopus citations


Clinical practice guidelines can be indispensable tools for managed care organizations (MCOs) in providing cost-effective treatment of common conditions. Guidelines for acute respiratory tract infections, such as acute otitis media (AOM) and acute sinusitis, can assist clinicians in accurately diagnosing these conditions, in providing treatment rationales, and in reducing the costs associated with inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions. Barriers to the implementation of practice guidelines include negative attitudes clinicians may have about guidelines promoted by MCOs; patient/parent expectations for antibiotic treatment; lack of financial resources, information system resources, and support for implementation; and lack of commitment to patient and provider education on the part of MCOs. MCOs can facilitate the adoption and implementation of guidelines with a systematic approach that involves establishing a guideline review process, gaining the support of providers, selecting outcomes measures, collecting and analyzing outcomes data, and providing feedback to clinicians about the impact of changes in their practices. This systematic approach should be used as part of the process for the National Committee for Quality Assurance accreditation. Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for AOM and sinusitis have been developed recently by national consortia of infectious disease experts. Adoption of these guidelines can assist in preventing the spread of resistant pathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S183-S191
JournalAmerican Journal of Managed Care
Issue number6 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Jul 10 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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