Improve Antibiotic Use

The Issue

Each year in the United States, at least two million illnesses and 23,000 deaths can be attributed to antibiotic-resistant infections.

While antibiotic-resistant infections can happen anywhere, most deaths related to antibiotic resistance happen in health care settings such as hospitals and nursing homes.

CDC’s 6|18 Initiative In Action

Learn about interventions happening across the country. Learn more »

Plan an Evidence-Based Intervention

Following is the intervention to improve antibiotic use identified by the CDC as having a proven evidence base for improving health outcomes and controlling health care costs:

  • Require antibiotic stewardship programs in all hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, in alignment with CDC’s Core Elements of Hospital Antibiotic Stewardship Programs and The Core Elements of Antibiotic Stewardship for Nursing Homes.
  • Improve outpatient antibiotic prescribing by incentivizing providers to follow CDC’s Core Elements of Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship.

Evidence Summary: Improve Antibiotic Use

Download the CDC’s evidence summary that outlines key cost and health information for payers and providers, as well as demonstrated outcomes for the above intervention.

Explore Implementation Resources

The following resources can help payers, state officials, and providers to implement high-opportunity interventions aimed at improving antibiotic use. Does your state/program have resources to share? Send an email to

See also CDC’s antibiotic prescribing and use web page.

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