Intermountain Healthcare partners with the CDC to improve outpatient antibiotic prescribing

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, USA, September 27, 2018 / — Intermountain Healthcare has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to launch a patient-centered initiative targeting outpatient antibiotic prescribing. The initiative, called the Antimicrobial Resistance Challenge, was launched at the United Nations General Assembly on September 25th and participating organizations make year-long commitments through September 2019.

Intermountain has committed to the challenge and to the White House that by 2020, it will reduce inappropriate outpatient antibiotic use for upper respiratory conditions by 50 percent. Work to get there will involve novel antibiotic prescribing metrics with prescriber feedback, electronic medical record tools, education for patients and providers, and a public awareness campaign. Intermountain will also launch the Healthy Patient Initiative to build on current infection prevention activities, including improving patient hygiene, environmental hygiene, and caregiver infection prevention.

Intermountain’s efforts are discussed in a podcast discussion with Eddie Stenehjem, MD, an infectious disease specialist and Intermountain’s Antibiotic Stewardship Medical Director, Whitney Buckel, System Antibiotic Stewardship Pharmacist Manager, and Shannon Phillips, MD, Chief Patient Experience Officer.

“The development of drug resistance leads to worse outcomes and worse patient experience,” Dr. Stenehjem says. “It leads to higher cost of care and it leads to high rates of death. We need to be stewards of these resources for generations to come. We're not going to get around this by making new drugs. We're always going to have drug resistance and so we have to slow that tide.”

Dr. Stenehjem says many patients want to be prescribed an antibiotic for every ailment, and that’s a tough expectation for prescribers to change. “This is incredibly challenging,” he says. “There’s a sentiment out there that antibiotics can fix everything and I think it's up to us as a healthcare system to help educate the public. We need to let patients know that when they come to us for an illness or for a symptom, we're going to take care of them. We're going to treat their symptoms. But that may not include an antibiotic.”

Intermountain Healthcare is a Utah-based not-for-profit system of 23 hospitals, 170 clinics, a Medical Group with about 2,300 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a health plans group called SelectHealth, and other medical services. Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare through high quality and sustainable costs. For more information about Intermountain, visit

Daron Cowley
Intermountain Healthcare
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Source: EIN Presswire