On April 18, 2023, Denver Health launched a first-of-its-kind resource to support antibiotic stewardship efforts in health systems across the country. The new Outpatient Automated Stewardship Information System (OASIS), created with support from The Pew Charitable Trusts, is open source, meaning it’s free to use and download, and works by harnessing data from electronic health records (EHRs) to assess antibiotic prescribing. Tracking and reporting antibiotic use is a core element of effective outpatient antibiotic stewardship efforts—critical for understanding and improving prescribing practices—but it’s been difficult for outpatient clinics to do as it's often time-consuming and resource intensive, especially for smaller health systems or practices.
At launch, OASIS will have the ability to assess antibiotic prescribing for three categories, chosen based on feedback from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and the American Academy of Pediatrics:
- Antibiotic use for acute respiratory conditions.
- First-line antibiotic therapy for acute otitis media.
- Antibiotic prescribing for conditions for which the drugs are unnecessary.
Because nearly all electronic health record systems store antibiotic prescribing data in similar ways, OASIS can streamline the analysis needed to provide feedback to outpatient clinicians—automatically mining for and pulling together data points such as diagnostic codes and prescription information. It then creates antibiotic prescribing reports and directly emails the findings to clinicians, stewardships teams, and administrators.
Health systems don’t need to purchase any additional software packages or EHR upgrades for OASIS to work. Similarly, existing EHR systems don’t require modifications or customizations to implement the tool. This is important because it means that OASIS can be used without the help of an EHR analyst—who are often in short supply.
Experts agree that tracking and reporting antibiotic prescribing is crucial to helping health care systems evaluate prescribing practices, ensure the appropriate use of these critical therapies, and slow the emergence of deadly antibiotic-resistant pathogens. OASIS will help address some of the long-standing barriers to these types of stewardship efforts, helping to protect individual patients and public health.
David Hyun, M.D., is project director and Rachel Zetts, MPH, is a senior officer with The Pew Charitable Trusts’ antibiotic resistance project.