It’s about the patients: Practical antibiotic stewardship in outpatient settings in the United States

Alpesh N. Amin, E. Patchen Dellinger, Glenn Harnett, Bryan D. Kraft, Kerry L. LaPlante, Frank LoVecchio, James A. McKinnell, Glenn Tillotson, Salisia Valentine

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Antibiotic-resistant pathogens cause over 35,000 preventable deaths in the United States every year, and multiple strategies could decrease morbidity and mortality. As antibiotic stewardship requirements are being deployed for the outpatient setting, community providers are facing systematic challenges in implementing stewardship programs. Given that the vast majority of antibiotics are prescribed in the outpatient setting, there are endless opportunities to make a smart and informed choice when prescribing and to move the needle on antibiotic stewardship. Antibiotic stewardship in the community, or “smart prescribing” as we suggest, should factor in antibiotic efficacy, safety, local resistance rates, and overall cost, in addition to patient-specific factors and disease presentation, to arrive at an appropriate therapy. Here, we discuss some of the challenges, such as patient/parent pressure to prescribe, lack of data or resources for implementation, and a disconnect between guidelines and real-world practice, among others. We have assembled an easy-to-use best practice guide for providers in the outpatient setting who lack the time or resources to develop a plan or consult lengthy guidelines. We provide specific suggestions for antibiotic prescribing that align real-world clinical practice with best practices for antibiotic stewardship for two of the most common bacterial infections seen in the outpatient setting: community-acquired pneumonia and skin and soft-tissue infection. In addition, we discuss many ways that community providers, payors, and regulatory bodies can make antibiotic stewardship easier to implement and more streamlined in the outpatient setting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number901980
JournalFrontiers in Medicine
StatePublished - Jul 27 2022


  • antibiotic stewardship
  • antimicrobial stewardship
  • inappropriate prescribing
  • infectious skin diseases
  • microbial drug resistance
  • overprescribing
  • pneumonia
  • therapeutic antibacterial agents


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