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CDC releases core elements for prescribing outpatient antibiotics

November 21, 2016
Area(s) of Interest: Drug Prescribing/Dispensing 


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new recommendations for antibiotic prescribing in outpatient settings in an effort to help reduce the spread of drug-resistant infections, improve patient safety and lower the cost of health care.

According to the CDC, at least 2 million people each year in the U.S. acquire serious infections with bacteria that are resistant to one or more of the antibiotics designed to treat those infections. At least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these antibiotic-resistant infections.

The CDC recommendations, "Core Elements of Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship," provides clinicians and facilities involved in outpatient care—including primary care clinics, emergency departments, specialty clinics, community pharmacies, and retail health and urgent care clinics—strategies to improve antibiotic prescribing and reduce unnecessary antibiotic use.

Antibiotic stewardship programs are designed to coordinate interventions to improve and measure the appropriate use of antimicrobials by promoting the selection of the optimal antimicrobial drug regimen, dose, duration of therapy and route of administration.

The California Medical Association Foundation's Alliance Working for Antibiotic Resistance Education (AWARE) project has also developed a free mobile app containing clinical guidelines for appropriate antibiotic use. The AWARE Compendia mobile app provides easy access to the project's Adult and Pediatric Acute Respiratory Tract Infection Guidelines. The app is frequently updated to ensure accurate, timely information.

The AWARE app is available on Android and iPhone devices. To download, search “AWARE Toolkit” in the Google Play or iTunes stores.

To read the CDC report, click here.

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