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Led by Drs. Millie Kwan and Renae Boerneke, the team has launched an innovative outpatient program where providers delable penicillin allergy through penicillin allergy assessments.

This project has recently been selected for participation in the existing UNC Institute for Healthcare Quality Improvement (IHQI) Scholars program, in order to help train various clinicians about the importance of obtaining an accurate allergy history through conducting penicillin allergy assessments, and the utility of allergy and immunology referrals for penicillin skin testing in this patient population. IHQI will provide the initiative with additional program management resources.

About Penicillin Allergies…

Ten percent of the U.S. population are classified in their medical records as being allergic to penicillin.  However only about 1% actually are allergic. The majority of patients identified as having penicillin allergy are not actually allergic, or were correctly diagnosed in the past, but are no longer allergic.

This leads to many patients who would be appropriate for penicillin, receiving other antibiotics, which may cause more side effects, are more expensive, may not be as effective as penicillin for treating some types of infections, and may increase the chance of patients developing antibiotic resistance.

For these reasons, Drs. Millie Kwan and Renae Boerneke, working within the UNC Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology and UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center are testing patients to help better identify – as well as develop best practices to test and determine – which patients are truly allergic to penicillin.

Take Action Today!

We invite you to download a handy UNC Penicillin Allergy Handout to educate patients on this topic, and suggest you check out the educational materials available on the AAAI’s Penicillin Allergy Awareness Toolkit.