Applications of Medical Informatics in Antibiotic Therapy

  • R. Scott Evans
  • Stanley L. Pestotnik
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 349)


Effective antibiotic therapy is an essential part of hospital care.1–3 Studies show that patients with rapidly fatal and ultimately fatal underlying diseases have improved chances for survival with appropriate antimicrobial therapy.4 However, several studies show that there is considerable overuse and misuse of antibiotics.5–8 Up to two thirds of hospitalized patients who receive antibiotics have no evidence of infection. The major cause for antibiotic overuse results from unnecessary or prolonged surgical prophylaxis. Studies also show that antibiotic prophylaxis should be initiated before the operation to be beneficial.9,10 Yet, many patients who would benefit from antibiotic prophylaxis do not receive the antibiotics until after the start of the operation.11,12 The selection of therapeutic antibiotics has been found to be inconsistent with microbiology data.13,14 This usually results from physicians being unaware of relevant susceptibility results. One study found that the selection of empiric antibiotics was unacceptable 34 percent of the time.15 The physicians were misinformed about likely pathogens and/or antibiotic susceptibilities. Organisms that were susceptible to antibiotics only a few years ago are now resistant.16 Antimicrobial resistance is spawned by the overuse and misuse of antibiotics.


Adverse Drug Event Clinical Pharmacist Hospital Information System Medical Informatics Microbiology Culture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Scott Evans
    • 1
  • Stanley L. Pestotnik
    • 1
  1. 1.Medical Informatics, Infectious Diseases, and PharmacyLDS Hospital and University of Utah School of MedicineSalt Lake CityUSA

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