Benchmarking of Outpatient Pediatric Antibiotic Prescribing: Results of a Multicenter Collaborative.

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DOI: 10.1093/jpids/piad039


BACKGROUND: Most antibiotic use occurs in ambulatory settings. No benchmarks exist for pediatric institutions to assess their outpatient antibiotic use and compare prescribing rates to peers. We aimed to share pediatric outpatient antibiotic use reports and benchmarking metrics nationally.

METHODS: We invited institutions from the Sharing Antimicrobial Reports for Pediatric Stewardship OutPatient (SHARPS-OP) Collaborative to contribute quarterly aggregate reports on antibiotic use from January 2019 to June 2022. Outpatient settings included emergency departments (ED), urgent care centers (UCC), primary care clinics (PCC) and telehealth encounters. Benchmarking metrics included the percentage of: (1) all acute encounters resulting in antibiotic prescriptions; (2) acute respiratory infection (ARI) encounters resulting in antibiotic prescriptions; and among ARI encounters receiving antibiotics, (3) the percentage receiving amoxicillin ("Amoxicillin index"); and (4) the percentage receiving azithromycin ("Azithromycin index"). We collected rates of antibiotic prescriptions with durations ≤7 days and >10 days from institutions able to provide validated duration data.

RESULTS: Twenty-one institutions submitted aggregate reports. Percent ARI encounters receiving antibiotics were highest in the UCC (40.2%), and lowest in telehealth (19.1%). Amoxicillin index was highest for the ED (76.2%), and lowest for telehealth (55.8%), while the azithromycin index was similar for ED, UCC, and PCC (3.8%, 3.7%, and 5.0% respectively). Antibiotic duration of ≤7 days varied substantially (46.4% for ED, 27.8% UCC, 23.7% telehealth, and 16.4% PCC).

CONCLUSIONS: We developed a benchmarking platform for key pediatric outpatient antibiotic use metrics drawing data from multiple pediatric institutions nationally. These data may serve as a baseline measurement for future improvement work.

Journal Title

J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc





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MeSH Keywords

Humans; Child; Anti-Bacterial Agents; Azithromycin; Benchmarking; Outpatients; Practice Patterns, Physicians'; Amoxicillin; Respiratory Tract Infections; Inappropriate Prescribing


benchmarking; metrics; outpatient antimicrobial stewardship; pediatric

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