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AHRQ Safety Program for Improving Antibiotic Use

Preventing patient harms today. Preserving antibiotics for tomorrow.

Informational Webinars

Antibiotics are a precious resource and can be critical for improving the outcomes of patients with certain infections. However, these medications also have the potential to cause patient harms, including allergic reactions, Clostridium difficile infections and antibiotic resistance both at the individual patient level and for society as a whole. For antibiotics to be effective for future generations, they must be used judiciously.

Through a contract awarded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality and NORC at The University of Chicago are leading a national collaborative project that aims to improve antibiotic stewardship across acute care, long-term care and ambulatory care facilities.

Visit the Project Portal for more details.

Continuing education credits available for health care professionals who are part of this program.

Hospital Enrollment is Open: Sign Up by Nov. 17

We are recruiting hospitals across the United States to take part in the project’s first 12-month cohort, which will run from December 2017 through November 2018. There is no fee to participate.

This program will support your organization’s efforts to:

  • Reduce patient harms from inappropriate antibiotic use
  • Improve patient and family satisfaction
  • Meet the Joint Commission’s new Antimicrobial Stewardship Standard for hospitals, which became effective January 2017

Each hospital will form an interdisciplinary team that receives online training, coaching, a toolkit of interventions and other support for their antibiotic stewardship efforts.

Two additional 12-month cohorts are planned: long-term care facilities (starting December 2018), and ambulatory and urgent care facilities (December 2019).

Details and Registration

Why Target Antibiotic Use?

The need for antibiotic stewardship is evident across care settings:

  • Hospitals. About 50% of patients receive antibiotics, with approximately 30% of antibiotic use considered suboptimal.
  • Long-term care facilities. More than half of residents receive antibiotics, with approximately 75% considered inappropriate.
  • Ambulatory facilities. The majority of antibiotic prescriptions — approximately 60% — occur in this setting, with at least 30% of these prescriptions considered unnecessary.


This AHRQ-funded initiative is a collaboration between the Armstrong Institute and NORC at The University of Chicago. During the pilot period, which began in April 2017, acute care, long-term care and ambulatory care sites across The Carolinas HealthCare System, The Geisinger Health System and the Johns Hopkins Health System will be participating in the program.


Health care professionals in this program can earn credits by participating in 15 educational webinars that will be delivered over the course of the 12-month project. See accreditation information below:

Continuing Medical Education

  • The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
  • Physicians: The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America designates this live activity for a maximum of 15 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Visit the FAQ page of the portal or email us at

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