Appropriate Treatment for Children with Upper Respiratory Infection
This HEDIS Measure
Assesses children 3 months˗18 years of age who were given a diagnosis of upper respiratory infection (URI) and were not dispensed an antibiotic prescription. A higher rate indicates appropriate treatment of children with URI (i.e., the proportion for whom antibiotics were not prescribed).
Most URIs, also known as the common cold, are caused by viruses that require no antibiotic treatment. Too often, antibiotics are prescribed inappropriately, which can lead to antibiotic resistance (when antibiotics can no longer cure bacterial infections). Antibiotic resistance is a major health concern in the United States and around the world.1
Recent efforts to decrease unnecessary prescribing have resulted in fewer children receiving antibiotics in recent years, but inappropriate use remains a problem.1 Increased education and awareness of appropriate treatment for URIs can reduce the danger of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
1. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control. 2013. “Antibiotics Aren’t Always the Answer.” http://www.cdc.gov/features/getsmart/