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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been very active in pushing for more responsible antibiotic prescribing lately. Now they’ve issued more formal direction in the form of guidelines for antibiotic prescribing in outpatient settings, offering four stewardship “pillars” for prescribers to follow. CDC’s Core Elements of Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship, published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), recommends that outpatient facilities like urgent care centers demonstrate dedication to and accountability for optimizing antibiotic prescribing and patient safety; implement at least one policy or practice to improve antibiotic prescribing, assess whether it’s working, and modify as needed; monitor antibiotic prescribing practices and offer regular feedback to clinicians, or have clinicians assess their own antibiotic prescribing practices themselves; and provide educational resources to clinicians and patients on antibiotic prescribing, and ensure access to needed expertise on optimizing antibiotic prescribing. The CDC calls inappropriate antibiotic use “the most important modifiable factor contributing to antibiotic resistance.”

CDC Offers More Guidance on Antibiotic Use in Outpatient Settings
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