CDC publishes antibiotic stewardship guidance for outpatient settings: 4 core elements

Roughly 60 percent of U.S. antibiotic use in humans is received in outpatient settings, according to the CDC, making that care setting critically important in the fight against antibiotic resistance. In that vein, the agency released the "Core Elements of Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship" Friday.

The CDC previously published "Core Elements of Hospital Antibiotic Stewardship Programs" and "Core Elements of Antibiotic Stewardship for Nursing Homes" in 2014 and 2015.

This new addition gives outpatient clinicians and facilities a framework for antibiotic stewardship. It was developed by building on known best practices for stewardship across care settings and conducting a narrative review of evidence on outpatient antibiotic stewardship interventions. Subject-matter experts reviewed the document and provided feedback until it resulted in the core elements released Friday.

According to the CDC, the core elements of antibiotic stewardship for outpatient care are:

1. Commitment — Be dedicated to and accountable for optimizing antibiotic prescribing.

2. Action for policy and practice — Put at least one policy or practice in place to improve antibiotic prescribing, assess its effectiveness and change as needed.

3. Tracking and reporting — Monitor prescribing practices and offer feedback to clinicians. Have clinicians assess their own prescribing practices as well.

4. Education and expertise — Give educational resources to clinicians and patients about antibiotic prescription.

Find more details here.

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