Proper administration of antibiotics is a pervasive issue in medicine, both in terms of cost and of the unwanted development of drug-resistant bacteria such as Clostridium difficile. Researchers at the McGill University Health Center in Montreal examined the effectiveness of adopting an antibiotic “time-out” during treatment, which involves regularly re-evaluating the treatment strategy as clinical situations evolve.

The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, showed that structured time-outs, using a locally developed online checklist, resulted in significantly decreased antibiotic costs coupled with decreased use of targeted medications. There was also a small decline in C. difficile infections.

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