Telemedicine Tied to More Antibiotics for Kids, Study Finds


Telemedicine may be leading to the overprescribing of antibiotics to sniffling children, a new study suggests.

Kids with cold symptoms seen via telemedicine visits were far more likely to be prescribed antibiotics than those who went to a doctor's office or clinic, researchers found. And a higher proportion of those prescriptions disregarded medical guidelines, raising the risk they could cause side effects or contribute to the rise of antibiotic-resistant germs.

"I understand the desire for care that's more convenient and timely," said the study's lead author, Dr. Kristin Ray of the University of Pittsburgh. "But we want to make sure that we don't sacrifice quality or safety or effectiveness in the process."