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Introduction: Skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) are the second most common diagnosis leading to pediatric antibiotic prescriptions in the outpatient setting after respiratory diagnoses. Children with SSTIs often receive >7 days of antibiotics, although current guidelines recommend 5-7 days for most diagnoses. At CMH urgent care clinics (UCCs), only 58% patients received the recommended 5-7 days of antibiotics. We aimed to increase the percentage of patients receiving 5-7 days of oral antibiotics for SSTIs from 58% to 75% by December 31st, 2021. Methods: We formed a multidisciplinary team in April 2020. A provider survey assessed factors influencing prescribing habits. We completed cause-and-effect analyses and developed a driver diagram (Figure 1). Interventions were chosen based on the potential for highest impact and lowest effort. Our first Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle provided an update on current guidelines for UCC providers. The second PDSA cycle updated prescription sentences in the electronic health record (EHR) and organized them from shortest to longest duration. The third PDSA cycle provided a project update via email to UCC providers. Our outcome measure is the percentage of patients receiving 5-7 days of antibiotics for SSTIs. Process measure is the number of updated prescriptions used. Balancing measure is the number of patients returning for SSTI within 14 days of their visit. Results are displayed using a run chart. Results: After initiation of the project in April 2020, the percentage of patients receiving 5-7 days of antibiotics increased to 68% (Figure 2). This percentage increased to our goal of 75% after the 1st PDSA cycle (October-December 2020), 80% following the second PDSA cycle in February 2021, and 90% following the third PDSA cycle in April 2021. There was no change in balancing measure numbers. Conclusion: Prior to our project, only 58% of children seen in CMH UCCs for SSTIs received the recommended antibiotic duration. By addressing the primary drivers uncovered through QI methodology, we surpassed our goal of 75%. Additional PDSA cycles are planned along with expansion to other departments. This work will allow us to expand antibiotic stewardship efforts to other infectious diagnoses as well.


Emergency Medicine | Infectious Disease | Pediatrics | Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Presented at IDweek 2021, virtual, Sept 29-Oct 3, 2021.

Improving Skin and Soft Tissue Antibiotic Duration Concordance with National Guidelines in Pediatric Urgent Care Clinics