Bottle of spilling medicine

Peer comparison audit and feedback could result in greater antibiotic prescribing improvements

Antibiotic prescribing can result in side effects and contribute to antibiotic resistance, an urgent public health threat. In a recently released MMWR article, Identifying Higher-Volume Antibiotic Outpatient Prescribers Using Publicly Available Medicare Part D Data — United States, 2019, CDC authors found that in 2019, 41% of all Medicare Part D antibiotic prescriptions were prescribed by 10% of prescribers. This indicates that a small percentage of healthcare providers were responsible for prescribing a large number of antibiotic prescriptions.

10% of prescribers account for 41% of all antibiotic prescriptions for Medicare Part D beneficiaries in 2019. Learn how higher-volume prescribers can be prioritized for antibiotic stewardship interventions to improve prescribing practices

Prioritizing higher-volume prescribers (the top 10% of antibiotic prescribers by volume) for outreach and interventions could result in larger improvements in antibiotic prescribing. Public health and health care organizations can use publicly available Medicare Part D prescription data to optimize antibiotic prescribing, limit the development of antibiotic resistance, and improve patient outcomes. You can help use these data for action with CDC’s one-page analytic guide on outpatient antibiotic prescription data for peer comparison audit and feedback.

Be Antibiotics Aware is a national effort to help fight antibiotic resistance and improve antibiotic prescribing and use. Antibiotics can save lives, but any time antibiotics are used, they can cause side effects and contribute to the development of antibiotic resistance. In U.S. doctors’ offices and emergency departments, at least 28% of antibiotic courses prescribed each year are unnecessary, which makes improving antibiotic prescribing and use a national priority.For more information on improving antibiotic prescribing and use, visit