New Study Sets Baseline to Measure Quality of Antibiotic Prescribing in U.S. Hospitals
On March 18, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a new study in JAMA Network Open showing that in 2015, more than half of antibiotics prescribed in U.S hospitals did not follow recommended prescribing practices. On the same day, The Pew Charitable Trusts announced the first-ever national targets to reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing in U.S. hospitals. The targets were established based on CDC’s study, with input from CDC and a panel of infectious disease and public health experts from around the country to better assess improvements in prescribing that have taken place since 2015.
The CDC study was one of the largest assessments of the appropriateness of antibiotic prescribing in hospitals to date. These data establish a method and baseline to help measure the impact of antibiotic stewardship programs going forward. The study examined four major categories of prescribing that account for the most common antibiotic uses in the United States, including treatments for two types of common infections (community-acquired pneumonia, or CAP, and urinary tract infection, or UTI) and two types of antibiotics (fluoroquinolones and IV vancomycin). The study found that unsupported antibiotic use was occurring in each of the four categories of prescribing in 2015, and that collectively nearly 56% of prescriptions evaluated at the 192 hospitals in the study were not consistent with recommended prescribing practices.
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