Antibiotic Stewardship in Outpatient Settings in the Spotlight Following Release of Letter From CDC

By on 12:47 PM

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with The Pew Charitable Trusts and a dozen national health organizations, have released a letter on the importance of antibiotic stewardship in outpatient settings.

The letter is intended to represent the commitment of these organizations to collaborate on expanding current antibiotic stewardship efforts, fill research gaps around effective interventions for improving prescribing habits and help healthcare professionals and patients use antibiotics appropriately in outpatient settings.

In May, Journal of the American Medical Association released data that showed physicians in private offices and emergency rooms significantly overprescribe antibiotics. The article noted that at least 30% of antibiotics prescribed in U.S. outpatient settings are unnecessary. 

As the letter noted, "... the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has placed the world on the precipice of what public health leaders call a 'post-antibiotic' era in which even simple surgical procedures could be complicated by deadly infections. ... although antibiotics are generally safe, these drugs also carry risks for individual patients. For example, antibiotics can cause adverse events ranging from minor side effects to serious allergic reactions and antibiotic use increases the potential for a patient to develop an infection."

Learn more about antibiotic stewardship in outpatient settings in this Becker's ASC Review column on multidisciplinary ASC antibiotic stewardship program implementation.


Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC, is the founder and president of Infection Control Consulting Services LLC (ICCS). Phenelle has more than 30 years' experience providing customized comprehensive infection control and prevention services to healthcare facilities nationwide. Her services focus on assisting hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dental office and oral surgery practices, doctor's offices, nursing homes and other organizations with implementing and maintaining an infection control program that: complies with The Joint Commission, AAAHC, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and other regulatory agencies; respond to situations of noncompliance; and improve the processes for reducing risk.