It is hypothesized that 90% of antibiotic allergies documented in patients’ health records are not actual, potentially life threatening, type I allergies. This distinction is important because such documentation increases antibiotic resistance, as more second-choice and broad-spectrum antibiotics are then used. Evidence is lacking regarding causes of this inappropriate documentation. To develop interventions aimed at improving documentation, the authors of this study, published in the Annals of Family Medicine, explored experiences of family physicians and pharmacists in this area.
They found that the professionals involved perceived that antibiotic allergy documentation is seldom accurate, which may contribute to development of antibiotic resistance, increased costs, and decreased patient safety.