An article on National Public Radio was recently published regarding the relationship between patient satisfaction ratings and the prescription-writing habits of doctors. The article cites a study from JAMA Internal Medicine saying that patients rated themselves the happiest when a doctor gave in to their demands and gave them antibiotics for common colds.
In today’s current health care climate, organizations are dangerously concerned with patient satisfaction scores. This can be problematic as it gives physicians an incentive to prescribe non-medically indicated treatments to avoid a negative review from a patient.
It’s easy to simply prescribe antibiotics for a viral infection just to make a patient happy, but consider the risks such as contributing to antibiotic resistance. Then again, maybe the doctors are purposely contributing to antibiotic resistance so the pharmacy-industry can release stronger, more expensive antibiotics to make even more money. Tenth-generation fluoroquinolones, here we come!