Within this page, you will find Industry Perspective blogs written by the UCA Corporate Support Partners (CSP); Insights from UCA Chief Executive Officer Lou Ellen Horwitz; Practice Management blogs to help you better manage center operations; and bonus UCA education in Educational Insights.
The "high-season" for respiratory tract infections isn’t here just yet, but these infections occur year-round and are among the most common conditions seen in Urgent Care. Appropriate diagnosis and treatment is crucial to achieve the best patient outcomes and to minimize unnecessary and inappropriate antibiotic prescribing. This intensive review of evidence-based care will arm all clinicians with the best approach to caring for the continual challenge of managing respiratory tract infections in a way that optimizes cure, antibiotic stewardship, and patient satisfaction.
Take Home Tactic #1: Educate your patients about their illnesses
Communication is key! Explain the new science and weave in stories from the media regarding the overuse of antibiotics to treat what doesn’t need to be treated. Offer symptomatic treatments and discuss the side-effects with each prescription that is needed. Ask for and address any concerns that need to be met and leave the door open for easy follow-up. Finally, offering a safety-net prescription in the event symptoms worsen rapidly can work and has been shown to reduce reliance on antibiotics by 40%.
Take Home Tactic #2: Diagnose specifically - categorize illness
For influenza, distinguish between cold and flu symptoms. Is it a complicated flu, requiring additional testing or is it uncomplicated? The management of care includes fluids, rest, anti-pyretic medications (aspirin or salicylates are not recommended for children under 18). Antiviral medications can also be considered.
With Pneumonia, No fluoroquinolones or other broad-spectrum agents as first-line for COPD exacerbation, bronchitis in chronic lung disease; no antibiotics needed for uncomplicated influenza, RAD exacerbation, bronchiolitis.
For Acute Bronchitis, Influenza may cause it but be sure to distinguish from pneumonia, exacerbation/new onset of asthma/RAD and of chronic lung disease other than asthma (COPD, IPF, bronchiectasis, etc). Other possible diagnoses include URI, sinusitis, pharyngitis.
Take Home Tactic #3: Stay up-to-date with the Guidelines
For an overview of RTIs in general, go the ICSI site; visit the CDC for comprehensive updates on Influenza.
PURCHASE THE ENTIRE ONLINE SESSION OF STATE OF THE ART GUIDELINE REVIEW: INFLUENZA/BRONCHITIS/PHEUMONIA HERE.
Chrysa Charno, PA-C, MBA, FCUCM has been a practicing PA for 16 years in the fields of orthopedics, dermatology, plastic surgery and emergency medicine. In the past she was the President of the Plastic Surgery PAs and is published in many well-known journals. She is a national speaker on the topic of advanced suturing and has presented an array of medical and surgical topics at UCA Conferences. She holds an MBA from RIT and is the first APC board member of CUCM. Currently she works in the ED, at two urgent cares, and this summer she will be opening AcuteKids Pediatric Urgent Care.
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