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How to Implement Antibiotic Stewardship at Urgent Care Clinics

Author: UCA Admin/Thursday, October 17, 2019/Categories: Industry News

(from HealthLeaders)

Gaining support for antibiotic stewardship in the urgent care setting involves commitment from top leadership down to the clinic staff level. The Urgent Care Association (UCA) is stepping up efforts to improve antibiotic stewardship at the country's urgent care centers.

Appropriate prescribing of antibiotics is essential to help avoid the development of antibiotic-resistant infections, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls one of the most severe public health problems in the country. Last year, CDC researchers published a study in JAMA Internal Medicine that found inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics for respiratory conditions was highest in the urgent care setting, at 45.7% of patient visits. 

This year, Warrenville, Illinois–based UCA and the UCA-affiliated College of Urgent Care Medicine launched their Antibiotic Stewardship Commendation program, which recognizes urgent care organizations that follow best practices for antibiotics prescribing.

A key requirement for earning the commendation is adhering to at least four core elements of the CDC's guidance for antibiotics stewardship in hospitals and long-term care: commitment, action for policy and practice, tracking and reporting, and education and expertise.

The CDC guidance has set the best practices for antibiotic stewardship, says Joseph Toscano, MD, a member of the board of directors at the College of Urgent Care Medicine.

"The CDC is regarded as an expert in this regard because of the resources and experience the organization possesses in the treatment of infectious diseases and public health, both of which are at play here. Currently, their core elements are proving successful and are being used by many organizations. They incorporate principles of change management and physician and patient behavior, which all have a bearing on changing antibiotic prescribing," says Toscano, who is chief of emergency medicine and an emergency physician at Northern California Emergency Medical Group, San Ramon Regional Medical Center in San Ramon, California.

Premier Health is one of the first urgent care organizations in the country to earn the UCA/College of Urgent Care Medicine antibiotic stewardship commendation.

Premier Health has followed all four of the UCA's recommended core elements for antibiotic stewardship in the urgent care setting, says Kevin DiBenedetto, MD, medical director of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana–based company.

Full article HERE.


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