Lauri A. Hicks, DO, Director, Office of Antibiotic Stewardship, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, explains the importance of identifying gaps in antibiotic stewardship.
Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)
“There are so many gaps in antibiotic stewardship. It actually is a relatively new field, even though we’ve been thinking about improving how we use antibiotics for many decades. [However], there are a lot of areas where we don’t know very much about antibiotic prescribing.
One example is dentistry. We don’t know very much about how antibiotics are being prescribed in dentistry. We don’t know the frequency of appropriateness of antibiotic prescribing in dentistry and by dentists, and so we really like to better understand where the opportunities are for improvement.
There are some other areas in healthcare and some growing sectors in healthcare where we don’t really know how antibiotics are being prescribed and where the opportunities are for improvement, but we believe there are opportunities. For example, as you well know, retail clinics are becoming much more common, [and] urgent care clinics are becoming a very common source of healthcare in the community. We need to better understand how antibiotics are being used in those settings, and identify opportunities to improve antibiotic use there.
A couple of other areas we’re look at [include] dialysis patients, for example, and certain populations who are getting ambulatory surgery procedures. Those have been areas where we don’t know very much about how antibiotics are being used, but we need to learn more and identify opportunities to improve antibiotic [use].”
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