Anthrax attacks and practice patterns: a learning opportunity for health care systems

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Acute Disease; Alabama; Ambulatory Care Facilities; Anthrax; Antibiotic Prophylaxis; *Bioterrorism; Clinical Pharmacy Information Systems; Doxycycline; Drug Utilization; Fluoroquinolones; Health Services Needs and Demand; Hospitals, Veterans; Humans; Lung Diseases, Obstructive; Ofloxacin; Outpatient Clinics, Hospital; Physician's Practice Patterns; United States; United States Department of Veterans Affairs


Bioinformatics | Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Health Services Research


Sudden and unexpected events directly influencing clinical practice patterns are uncommon. After the first report of bioterrorism-related anthrax, the authors studied retrospectively 13 months of anthrax-related antibiotic prescription rates for Veterans Affairs outpatients in one urban area where no cases of anthrax were reported. During the 26 days after the first anthrax report, the rate of acute respiratory illnesses treated with fluoroquinolones was 62.8 per 10,000 outpatient visits, an increase of 41 percent over the rate of 44.4 observed approximately one year earlier (p = 0.058). Acute sociopolitical events such as bioterrorist attacks present a unique opportunity to investigate changes in health care.


Qual Manag Health Care. 2002 Spring;10(3):31-9.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Quality management in health care

PubMed ID


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed