NEW: HFHT's Practising Wisely Newsletter
For clinicians, by clinicians.
Issue 6: When Your Patient Has a Cold...
December 20, 2016

"We're using antibiotics for the common cold." - Philip Cross, Macdonald-Laurier Institute, Canada's national public policy think tank. 

Even economists know we shouldn’t use antibiotics for the common cold, but our patients persist in believing or demanding that they need a prescription for those irritating coughs and sore throats. We understand why - as the funny video below suggests, everyone feels lousy with a cold!

The Choosing Wisely Section of Family Medicine is pretty clear in its recommendation about the use of antibiotics to treat colds/flu:

"Don’t use antibiotics for upper respiratory infections that are likely viral in origin, such as influenza-like illness, or self-limiting, such as sinus infections of less than seven days of duration."

It may seem difficult to help your patients understand the reason why you're not giving them antibiotics. Have you considered providing them with written resources?

A recent Cochrane review showed that GPs providing written information to parents of children with acute URTIs in primary care can reduce the number of antibiotics used by patients without any negative impact on re-consultation rates or parental satisfaction with consultation.

Check out the "Quick Links" section of this newsletter for printable patient handouts about prescribing antibiotics and treating viruses like the common cold, flu or sinusitis (as well as Custom Form versions for Telus PS) and a full size version of the "Let's Think Again" image in the header of this email.

And, click on the button below to share a favourite handout, link or any other type of patient information that you find effective in getting this message across!

Quick Links:
Choosing Wisely Committee: