Pediatric Strep Testing for Pharyngitis
What are we tracking and why?
Pharyngitis (sore throat) is one of the most common illnesses in children. About a third of these cases are caused by Group A: If you or your sponsor’s initial enlistment or appointment occurred before January 1, 2018, you are in Group A. Streptococcal bacteria (Strep Throat) and require antibiotic therapy to prevent complications. The remaining cases are caused by viruses and do not require antibiotics.
Inappropriate use of antibiotics for viral infections can lead to increased resistance to antibiotics, making it harder for patients to fight bacteria in the future. Antibiotics may also lead to negative side effects such as allergic reactions, diarrhea, and yeast infections. We do not want any patient to suffer these effects, especially when there is no benefit to the overall treatment of the patient’s condition.
We want to make sure that antibiotics are only being prescribed after the presence of a bacterial infection is confirmed. We can confirm a bacterial infection by performing a Group A Streptococcus (GAS) test.
We track the percentage of children ages 2-18 who were diagnosed with pharyngitis or streptococcal pharyngitis (strep throat), and were prescribed an antibiotic only after confirming the presence of a bacterial infection.
How are we doing?
What are we doing to improve?
In an effort to improve patient care, we have implemented several hospital-wide measures, including regular review of our performance, and the use of Standard Operating Procedures to promote a uniform approach to care. We also support quality improvement initiatives through regular training and educational in-services.
What can you do?
Know that antibiotics are not useful in the treatment of viral infections. Be an advocate for your child. Ask questions when you are unclear about your child's diagnosis and treatment recommendations. If you are given a prescription antibiotic to address your child’s sore throat, make sure that your child has been tested for strep throat. If you have general questions about your child’s care, please contact the Primary Care team
, or contact the TRICARE Nurse Advice Line at 1-800-TRICARE (874-2273), option 1, if calling after hours.