Just 4 years ago, a Research Letter published by JAMA Internal Medicine painted an unflattering picture of the antibiotic prescribing habits in U.S. physician offices, urgent care centers, retail clinics, and emergency rooms.1 Urgent care took its lumps along with other settings—but in response, collectively, also took the issue seriously and set to work on correcting course.
In introducing their Antibiotic Stewardship program, The Urgent Care Association and the College of Urgent Care Medicine noted that “there is a real need for comprehensive antibiotic stewardship across the healthcare industry” and called on “all urgent care providers to take ownership of their prescribing practices and understand the role they play in stewardship efforts.”2
Judging from proprietary data collected by JUCM, it’s evident that urgent care prescribers embraced the challenge. The graph below illustrates
consistent (and dramatic) progress toward more responsible antibiotic prescribing over the past several years, reducing the overall number of prescriptions written by nearly half since the Research Letter was published.
- Palms DL, Hicks LA, Bartoces M, et al. Comparison of antibiotic prescribing in retail clinics, urgent care centers, emergency departments, and traditional ambulatory care settings in the United States. September 18. Available at: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2687524. Accessed October 12, 2022.
- The Urgent Care Association. Antibiotic Stewardship Commendation. Available at: https://www.ucaoa.org/Quality-Programs/Commendations/Antibiotic-Stewardship-Commendation. Accessed October 12, 2022.