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Community Health

Comet Calendar

Statistics Seminar by Shujing Sun (UT Dallas)

Friday, December 2, 2022 at 11:00am to 12:00pm

ECSW 1.315

Does telemedicine affect physician decisions? Evidence from antibiotic prescriptions

Telemedicine has long been of interest to the U.S. general public. Yet, despite the advent of high-speed internet and mobile device technology, telemedicine did not reach its full potential until the COVID-19 pandemic spurred its unparalleled adoption. This sudden shift in the setting of healthcare delivery raises questions regarding possible changes in clinical decision-making. Using a unique set of patient-provider encounter data from the U.S. in 2020 and 2021, we examine the effect of telemedicine on antibiotic prescription errors for urinary tract infections. We consider two types of prescription errors: prescribing when not recommended by guidelines (type I errors) and not prescribing when recommended (type II errors). After accounting for potential endogeneity issues using provider fixed effects and an instrumental variable approach, we find a significantly lower likelihood of overall prescription errors (type I and II errors combined) with telemedicine relative to in-person encounters. We also find heterogeneous effects by a provider's patient volume and the patient-provider relationship. Further analyses show that the reduction in prescription errors is mainly attributable to type I errors, and that patient health outcomes are not compromised when care is delivered via telemedicine. Finally, we discuss managerial implications for the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, as well as policy implications for governments.

Persons with disabilities may submit a request for accommodations to participate in this event at UT Dallas' ADA website. You may also call (972) 883-5331 for assistance or send an email to All requests should be received no later than 10 business days prior to the event.

Event Type

Lectures & Workshops

Target Audience

Undergraduate Students, Faculty & Staff, Graduate Students


Research, Science & Technology


statistics, data science, stat.fall2022, math

Natural Sciences & Mathematics
Contact Information
Qiwei Li
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