Doctors at Kaiser Permanente Southern California cut the odds of prescribing antibiotics for sinus infections by using digital health alerts to advise other physicians about their correct use, according to a study published Tuesday.

Researchers at the Pasadena-based Kaiser Permanente region found antibiotics use dropped 22 percent when computer messages tipped off doctors they weren’t the best course of treatment.

The self-funded Kaiser Permanente study, published in the American Journal of Managed Care, continues research on how best to control the over-use of antibiotics.

Multiple Kaiser studies on antibiotic prescriptions for acute sinusitis builds on research by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to limit use of unwarranted antibiotics.

Researchers say nine out of 10 patients with sinus infections are prescribed antibiotics despite guidelines that don’t recommend their use.

Health business reporter Dana Bartholomew can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @_DanaBart.

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