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The Use of Best Practice Alerts with the Development of an Antimicrobial Stewardship Navigator to Promote Antibiotic De-escalation in the Electronic Medical Record

  • Lucas Schulz (a1), Kurt Osterby (a2) and Barry Fox (a3)

Develop a clinical decision support tool comprised of an electronic medical record alert and antimicrobial stewardship navigator to facilitate antimicrobial stewardship.


We analyzed alerts targeting antimicrobial de-escalation to assess the effectiveness of the navigator as a stewardship tool. The alert provides antimicrobial recommendations, then directs providers to the navigator, which includes order management, relevant patient information, evidence-based clinical information, and bidirectional communication capability.


Academic, tertiary care medical center with an electronic medical record.


Alerts containing stewardship recommendations and immediate access to the navigator were created.


Antibiotic use and response data were collected 1 day before stewardship recommendation via the best practice alert (BPA) tool and 1 day after the BPA tool response. A total of 1,285 stewardship BPAs were created. Two hundred and forty-four (18.9%) of the BPAs were created and acted upon within 72 hours for the purpose of de-escalation: 169 (69%) were accepted, 30 (12%) were accepted with modification, and 45 (18%) were rejected. Statistically significant decreases in total antibiotic use as well as in use of broad-spectrum (anti-methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and anti-pseudomonal) agents occurred when accepted recommendations were compared with rejected recommendations.


We describe the successful development of a clinical decision support tool to perform prospective audit and feedback comprised of an alert and navigator system featuring evidence-based recommendations and clinical and educational information. We demonstrate that this tool improves antibiotic use through our example of de-escalation.

Clinical Trials Identifier.

This project was registered at (NCT01573195).

Corresponding author
Critical Care and Infectious Diseases Clinical Pharmacist, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, 600 Highland Avenue, F6/133–1530, Madison, WI 53792 (
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Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology
  • ISSN: 0899-823X
  • EISSN: 1559-6834
  • URL: /core/journals/infection-control-and-hospital-epidemiology
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