A new report in the peer-reviewed journal Telemedicine and e-Health provides a review of the published literature on antibiotic prescribing and antibiotic stewardship in outpatient telemedicine. At least 28% of antibiotic use in outpatient settings is unnecessary, contributing to excess costs, adverse drug events, and antibiotic resistance.
Antibiotic stewardship, as provided for in a framework developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is the effort to improve antibiotic use so that antibiotics are only prescribed when they provide a clear benefit.
Guillermo Sanchez, MSHS, PA-C, MPH, from the CDC, and coauthors, conducted a literature search to identify studies describing antibiotic use and antibiotic stewardship interventions in outpatient telemedicine.
"Our narrative review findings suggest that there is growing evidence describing antibiotic use in outpatient telemedicine, including an expansion of implementation studies exploring application of antibiotic stewardship interventions to this setting, including those which have been used extensively in face-to-face outpatient care," stated the investigators.
The investigators provide a detailed description of how telemedicine settings can initiate antibiotic stewardship.
"From the onset of incorporating telemedicine and telehealth into healthcare, we have observed unique applications such as antibiotic stewardship. These have become commonplace in efficacy and utility in our quest for better healthcare," says Charles R. Doarn, MBA, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal and Research Professor in the Department of Environmental and Public Health Sciences, and Director of the Space Research Institute for Discovery and Exploration at the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Sánchez, G., et al. (2023). Antibiotic Stewardship in Outpatient Telemedicine: Adapting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Core Elements to Optimize Antibiotic Use. Telemedicine Journal and e-Health. doi.org/10.1089/tmj.2023.0229.