IPRO to Lead Antibiotic Campaign

In a Medicare-funded effort that began this fall, IPRO is now leading a three-region Antibiotic Stewardship project focusing on the outpatient setting. Antibiotic Stewardship is directed at measuring and improving how antibiotics are prescribed and used. Improving antibiotic prescribing includes strategies to modify prescribing practices to align them with evidence based recommendations. Antibiotic use is the greatest risk factor for the development of antibiotic resistance. In addition to combating antibiotic resistance, Antibiotic Stewardship programs are designed to decrease antibiotic side effects such as rashes, diarrhea, allergic reactions and C. difficile infections. Improving antibiotic prescribing practices will have an added benefit of decreasing healthcare spending, by minimizing antibiotic resistance and complications as well as inappropriate utilization. The IPRO-led Atlantic Quality Innovation Network will recruit outpatient practices in New York, South Carolina and the District of Columbia, create a multidisciplinary advisory team, and routinely monitor performance—utilizing a framework developed by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. The core elements of the Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship effort include: (1) demonstrating accountability for optimizing antibiotic prescribing and patient safety; (2) implementing at least one policy or practice to improve antibiotic prescribing, assessing whether it is working, and modifying as needed; (3) monitoring antibiotic prescribing practices and offering regular feedback to clinicians; and (4) providing educational resources to clinicians and patients regarding antibiotic prescribing. For more information on these activities, go to www.atlanticquality.org.