Possible risk from infection / Precautionary prescription
You can use a precautionary prescription when you think bacterial infection is possible – the patient’s illness is most likely non-infective but you still want to prescribe antibiotics while a firm diagnosis is made.
Probable diagnosis of infection / Provisional prescription
You can use antibiotics as a provisional prescription when you think bacterial infection is probable – the most likely cause of the patient’s illness (i.e. your diagnosis is an organ-based syndrome of bacterial infection such as pneumonia or meningitis, or sepsis without a clinically clear focus).
Finalised diagnosis of infection / Finalised prescription
You can use a finalised antibiotic prescription after investigation, observation and senior or specialist review. A decision has been made about a final choice of agent, route and duration of antibiotic.
A patient with a finalised antibiotic prescription will not always have a microbiologically confirmed diagnosis.