How Mayo Clinic cut unnecessary antibiotic prescribing by half

Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic has reduced the number of unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions by half by implementing an outpatient antibiotic stewardship program.

In a review of the initiative's rollout, which began in 2020 across facilities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Florida, and Arizona, the intervention was found to decrease overprescribing of antibiotics from 21.7% to 11.2%.

Prescribing antibiotics unnecessarily exacerbates antimicrobial resistance, a concern shared by nearly 90% of hospital executives. 

Mayo Clinic's outpatient antibiotic stewardship program focuses on provider education, development of a syndrome-based, pre-populated ambulatory panel and peer reporting. The health system also utilizes a provider-facing data dashboard to create transparency and a format for "self-auditing" of instances where antibiotics were deemed unnecessary.  

"Outpatient antibiotic stewardship initiatives can reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescribing for Tier 3 URIs without increasing repeat respiratory healthcare contact," Mayo Clinic researchers wrote of the implementation's results. "Advancing age and number of comorbidities remain risk factors for persistent unnecessary antibiotic prescribing."

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