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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Core Elements of Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship

Guillermo V Sanchez, Katherine E Fleming-Dutra, Rebecca M Roberts, Lauri A Hicks
MMWR. Recommendations and Reports: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Recommendations and Reports 2016 November 11, 65 (6): 1-12
27832047
The Core Elements of Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship provides a framework for antibiotic stewardship for outpatient clinicians and facilities that routinely provide antibiotic treatment. This report augments existing guidance for other clinical settings. In 2014 and 2015, respectively, CDC released the Core Elements of Hospital Antibiotic Stewardship Programs and the Core Elements of Antibiotic Stewardship for Nursing Homes. Antibiotic stewardship is the effort to measure and improve how antibiotics are prescribed by clinicians and used by patients. Improving antibiotic prescribing involves implementing effective strategies to modify prescribing practices to align them with evidence-based recommendations for diagnosis and management. The four core elements of outpatient antibiotic stewardship are commitment, action for policy and practice, tracking and reporting, and education and expertise. Outpatient clinicians and facility leaders can commit to improving antibiotic prescribing and take action by implementing at least one policy or practice aimed at improving antibiotic prescribing practices. Clinicians and leaders of outpatient clinics and health care systems can track antibiotic prescribing practices and regularly report these data back to clinicians. Clinicians can provide educational resources to patients and families on appropriate antibiotic use. Finally, leaders of outpatient clinics and health systems can provide clinicians with education aimed at improving antibiotic prescribing and with access to persons with expertise in antibiotic stewardship. Establishing effective antibiotic stewardship interventions can protect patients and improve clinical outcomes in outpatient health care settings.

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