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Decision Aid Definitions 
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.
See the flowchart