Intermountain Healthcare and University of Utah Health have received a $1.8 million contract from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct an antibiotic stewardship program in their urgent care centers. Around 700,000 patients visit Intermountain urgent care centers annually, with the number continuing to climb every year. The first step in the initiative will be trying to refine how patients view prescriptions themselves. For example, more patients who come in expecting to get a prescription will receive one—just not necessarily for an antibiotic. Instead, they’ll be getting instructions in the form of a prescription, detailing what they can do to manage their symptoms (such as taking specific over-the-counter medications). They also plan to offer more delayed prescriptions, which can be filled if a patient hasn’t improved in a given amount of time. It seems to be working well, so far; since they launched the program in July, antibiotic scripts have fallen 20%.
CDC Ponies Up $1.8 Million for an Urgent Care-Based Antibiotic Initiative