Capital Region Health Community to Address Treatment of Middle Ear Infections in Children
Albany, N.Y., September 16, 1998 – The New York State Health Department, three Capital Region health plans and community–based practitioners will conduct a diagnostic workshop and management consensus conference on acute otitis media in children. The session will be held on Wednesday, October 21, 1998, at The Desmond, 660 Albany–Shaker Road, Albany.
Otitis media, more commonly known as "middle ear infection," is one of the most common childhood illnesses. There is a strong sense in the medical community that this disease is over–diagnosed and over–treated. High cost second– and third–generation antibiotics are often used even though common, inexpensive antibiotics continue to be effective. The cost of this disease includes not only physician visits and medicines, but also the value of time away from work to parents and their employers.
The Capital Region Otitis Media Project Committee includes the state Health Department, Capital District Physicians' Health Plan, Inc., Kaiser Permanente/Community Health Plan, Mohawk Valley Physicians' Health Plan and local practitioners from the fields of pediatrics, family practice, emergency medicine and urgent care, and otolaryngology. The committee was formed to address growing concerns among clinical and public health practitioners regarding the over–diagnosis of acute otitis media, excessive and inappropriate treatments, and the emergence of bacterial resistance to antimicrobial drugs. The first objective of the committee was to evaluate the current literature and practice in the diagnosis and treatment of otitis media, and this will be a major focus of the consensus conference.
The program will feature an otoscopy workshop led by Sylvan Stool, M.D., professor of Pediatric Otolaryngology, University of Colorado; a lecture, entitled "Critical Points in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Acute Otitis Media," by Stephen Pelton, M.D., professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Boston University; and, a presentation, "International Studies of the Treatment of Acute Otitis Media: Consideration of the Observation Option," by Larry Culpepper, M.D., Professor of Family Medicine, Boston University.
Breakout sessions will enable participants to critique proposed disease management guidelines which will ultimately yield clinical guidelines for community practitioners. Clinical guidelines are a tool for practitioners to use in diagnosing and treating illness or disease. They can also be used to explain diagnostic and treatment options to patients or their families.
The conference has been designed for clinical practitioners who treat childhood acute otitis media, including pediatricians, family practitioners, urgent care and emergency department physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
Practitioners interested in assisting with the development of draft guidelines should contact Richard Propp, M.D., state Health Department, at (518) 473–5876.