An antibiotic stewardship intervention at Mayo Clinic lowered unnecessary antibiotic prescribing for upper respiratory infections in outpatient settings, including urgent care centers, according to a new study in Open Forum Infectious Diseases, which posted during Antibiotic Awareness Week. Provider education, data reporting, and a red-flag notification system helped to influence prescribing patterns. The program was implemented at Mayo Clinic facilities in four states in 2020 with a goal to reduce antibiotic use for tier 3 upper respiratory infection syndromes, which are presentations that don’t require antibiotics. The analysis included 165,658 tier 3 encounters. Post-intervention, the prescribing rate for tier 3 encounters declined from 21.7% to 11.2%. Specifically in urgent care, the program resulted in a 51.8% relative reduction in prescribing, which represented the best improvement across settings.
But wait, there’s more: Authors note the decision to prescribe an antibiotic is complicated, influenced not only by clinical variables, but also by patient, provider, and healthcare system factors. Read more about antibiotic prescribing programs from the JUCM archive here: Urgent Care Leaders Promote Antibiotic Awareness Week.