United Hospital Fund Offers New Tool Kit to Curb Antibiotic Overprescribing
The United Hospital Fund has released a free set of tools and guidelines to help outpatient medical practices more appropriately prescribe antibiotics amid the growing public health crisis of antibiotic resistance.
"Our focus at this point is taking the lessons learned and tools that we've developed and making them available to as wide an audience as possible," said Joan Guzik, director of quality improvement for the UHF's Quality Institute program and co-author of the new tool kit.
About 2 million people in the United States develop antibiotic-resistant infections each year, and about 23,000 people die as a result, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overprescription is one of the leading causes of antibiotic resistance.
The UHF started the tool kit project in 2016 after collaborating with the Greater New York Hospital Association on inpatient stewardship, Guzik said. "What we had identified," she said, "is that, although many hospitals had inpatient stewardship activities, there was really very little going on in the outpatient setting, and that's where the majority of antibiotics are actually prescribed."
About 150 million outpatient visits in the United States each year result in an antibiotic prescription, and about one-third of those...