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The U.S. healthcare system has been criticized for being a bit too willing to prescribe antibiotics, often for patients who are suffering through viral, not bacterial, infections, thereby fueling increases in antimicrobial resistance. To its credit, the urgent care industry has rallied together to make antibiotic stewardship a priority. That commitment needs to be continued and amplified to fight what the World Health Organization calls “high levels” of antimicrobial resistance around the globe, however, as reported by the Journal of the American Medical Association. Between 2017 and 2020 alone, infections attributed to Escherichia coli, Salmonella species, and Neisseria gonorrhea increased by at least 15%—with more than 60% of N gonorrhea isolates showing resistance to ciprofloxacin and more than 20% of E coli isolates being resistant to both first-line ampicillin and cotrimoxazole (trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole) and second-line fluoroquinolones. In short, an errant prescription today could lead to life-threatening infection down the road. You have the power to influence this trend one way or the other every day. For insights on that, read Improving Appropriate Antibiotic Use for Common Clinical Conditions in Urgent Care in the JUCM archive.

Despite Progress, Antimicrobial Resistance Remains a Threat. What Are You Doing About It?