Reducing Unnecessary Antibiotic Use in the CHOP Newborn Care Network

Published on in CHOP News

4 arrows pointing to the center of a circle iconReduce Unnecessary Care

Why is this important?

Newborns sometimes require antibiotics shortly after birth when risk factors for infection are present. These newborns may require admission to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), which causes prolonged separation between mother and baby and may be associated with other medical conditions that require attention. Traditional guidelines for starting antibiotics can result in over treatment of well-appearing babies who have some risk factors for serious infection. The use of a sepsis risk calculator can safely reduce antibiotic use in the management of these newborns, allowing them to remain with their mothers and avoid unnecessary testing and treatment.

What we did

Our Newborn Care Network (CNBCN) participated in a two-year effort with the Vermont Oxford Collaborative aiming to reduce antibiotic use by using the sepsis risk calculator.

Results summary

Implementation of the sepsis risk calculator tool reduced antibiotic initiation rate by 12 percent, allowing us to reach the high-quality target rate of 2.8 percent.


Percent of babies on antibiotics who were well-appearing in the first 12 hours of life and with perinatal risk factors for sepsis

Graph: Percent well appearing receiving antibiotics

Published May, 2020

Next Steps

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