Antibiotic Prescribing for Acute Respiratory Infections in New York City: A Model for Collaboration

A review of more than 1,000 New York City patient records from 31 hospital-owned outpatient practices, collected as part of the UHF-funded Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship Initiative, illustrates the need for robust antibiotic stewardship programs. The study, published September 18 in the journal Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, found that doctors prescribed antibiotics for nearly 67 percent of patients who had acute bronchitis and more than 80 percent for acute sinusitis, even though antibiotics are not usually indicated for these conditions.

Overall, 37.3 percent of patients were prescribed antibiotics for acute respiratory infections (ARIs), with the range of prescribing rates by site varying widely. The team surveyed the practices from nine hospitals and health systems about current antibiotic stewardship programs, and found that prior to the participating in the collaborative only 11 percent of the practices had any outpatient-specific activities on antibiotic stewardship.

Note: This is the manuscript as originally submitted to Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. An updated version was published by the journal in September 2018. For the full, final version of this paper, please visit the journal’s website at