In the Emergency Department (ED) deciding who does and who does not need antibiotics can be difficult. There is no quick test that an Emergency doctor can perform that accurately tells them who needs antibiotics or what type of antibiotic to prescribe. Our study aims to find out how many patients are given antibiotics in the ED and what proportion of those antibiotics are not required or have been given incorrectly (incorrect type or dose). Our study also aims to identify factors that are associated with poor antibiotic choices, including doctor experience and time of antibiotic prescription.
The results of this study will allow us to: (1) accurately estimate the proportion of ED patients who receive antibiotics; (2) determine if there is problem with when and how ED in a busy Australian ED give antibiotics; and (3) help to identify possible reasons why a wrong antibiotic choice is made.