For pediatricians, the top 5 quality-improving activities include:
• Don’t prescribe antibiotics for pharyngitis unless the patient tests positive for streptococcus.
• Don’t obtain diagnostic images for minor head injuries without loss of consciousness or other risk factors.
• Don’t refer otitis media with effusion early in the course of the problem.
• Advise patients not to use cough and cold medications.
• Use inhaled corticosteroids to control asthma appropriately.
I believe that these are excellent tips.
All of us should follow these as far as possible, diligently and conscientiously, not only for a more scientific practice, but also as the Hippocratic Principle goes "First, do no harm".
Avoiding unnecessary CT scans would reduce the radiation exposure to the developing brain of the children, while avoiding antibiotics would reduce chances of side-effects, antibiotic resistance, and even possibly allergies and reduced immunity in children (studies have correlated multiple antibiotic use with increased risk of allergies, and increased risk of recurrent infections).
Finally, it is amazing to note the stigma attached to the diagnosis of asthma in our country. Not only are parents / pediatricians unaware of the diagnosis, convincing them regarding the use of inhalation therapy is a uphill task. Inhalation is the BEST treatment for asthma, as millions of children and hundreds of studies have clearly demonstrated. It is safe, effective and does not lead to significant side-effects. Its use MUST be encouraged amongst doctors and parents alike.