Friday, March 25, 2016
UHF: A New Arena For Reducing Antibiotic Misuse: Outpatient Care
Antibiotic resistance related to the misuse and overuse of antibiotics has emerged as a growing public health concern, with at least 2 million people infected with resistant bacteria each year. To date, most efforts to promote more judicious use of antibiotics have been based in the inpatient hospital setting, aimed at preventing hospital-acquired infections such as Clostridium difficile (C. difficile). But with more than half of the antibiotics prescribed in outpatient facilities unnecessary, addressing antibiotic misuse and overuse in those settings is critical. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has highlighted this need with an array of online resources for providers and consumers, and in March 2015 the Obama administration’s National Action Plan challenged providers to halve inappropriate antibiotic use in outpatient settings by 2020.
There’s good reason to bring concerted efforts to this new arena: recent evidence suggests that a modest reduction of just 10 percent in adult outpatient antibiotic prescribing can yield a 17 percent decrease in community-acquired C. difficile rates. That’s why United Hospital Fund (UHF) has launched the Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship Initiative as part of our quality improvement and capacity-building—as well as grant-making—efforts. . .