An Antibiotic Stewardship Program for Sinusitis in an Urgent Care Setting: A Quality Improvement Project for Advanced Practice Providers

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Introduction: Sinusitis is commonly diagnosed in the urgent care setting. According to evidence-based practice guidelines, most cases do not require antibiotics. Current clinical practice guidelines support a target antibiotic prescribing rate of less than 12% for upper respiratory infections, such as sinusitis. Inappropriate antibiotic usage can cause adverse effects, ranging from mild rashes and gastrointestinal distress to life threatening antibiotic resistance and colitis. In the chosen network for this project, 56.9% of patients received antibiotics when diagnosed with sinusitis between April and September 2023.

Methods: All non-physician advanced practice providers (APPs) within the urgent care network were invited to view an educational PowerPoint presentation regarding current evidence-based practice guidelines for sinusitis. Participation in the intervention was voluntary and anonymous. Post-intervention prescribing patterns were evaluated to determine the efficacy of the intervention.

Results: The results of the intervention demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in antibiotics prescribed by APPs for the diagnosis of sinusitis. The antibiotic prescribing rate improved to 46.3% during the six-week period following the educational intervention, a reduction of 10.6%.

Conclusion: While this quality improvement project did not achieve the desired antibiotic prescribing rate of 12%, the educational intervention was effective at lowering the overall rate of antibiotics prescribed for sinusitis. Limitations include a short follow-up period and the voluntary nature of participation in the educational intervention.

DNP project