Ambulatory care practices seeking to improve their use of antibiotics may benefit by investigating their entire work system – through an approach called human factors engineering – rather than isolated interventions, according to an AHRQ-funded research review. Human factors engineering explores interactions between people and their work environment. Increasing attention has been focused on antibiotic stewardship, which promotes appropriate antibiotic use by prescribers and patients. The new AHRQ analysis, published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, cited research findings on successful interventions ranging from the use of clinical decision support, to clinician education, to delayed antibiotic prescribing. Examining these factors in an engineering framework may help ambulatory care practices choose antibiotic stewardship interventions best suited to their resources. Access the abstract.
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