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Proper Treatment for Pharyngitis (Sore Throat)

Over-prescribing antibiotics is a hot topic in pediatric health care. Not only does it lead to the development of “superbugs” that are immune to antibiotics, but some medications cause side effects in children like headaches, stomach aches or rashes. Antibiotics only help treat illnesses caused by bacteria, not viruses. Pharyngitis is the most common cause of sore throats, and in most causes, is caused by a virus. However, sometimes the cause is the streptococcus bacteria

Children’s Physicians monitors prescriptions for conditions like pharyngitis to make sure antibiotics aren’t being prescribed unnecessarily as they often are in places like grocery store and other quick-care clinics. We measure to make sure that if a medication was prescribed, a strep test was done prior to recommending an antibiotic. In 2012, 95 percent of patients with pharyngitis who were prescribed an antibiotic were tested for the streptococcus bacteria. Why aren't we at 100 percent? Because if there are multiple children in one household with similar symptoms, we will only test one child in the household. This is done in an effort to keep medical costs down. 

  Our Score  
2009
  Our Score  
2010
   Our Score   
2011

  Our Score   
2012

 National Standards 
 Top 10 percent*  

Appropriate Testing for Children with Pharyngitis
Percentage of patients who were diagnosed with pharyngitis
and tested for group A streptococcus prior to receiving an
antibiotic prescription

93 percent

93 percent

95 percent

95 percent

86 percent

 *This means that the top 10 percent of facilities measuring this quality standard scored at least an 86 percent.