Use of the Electronic Health Record to Optimize Antimicrobial Prescribing

Simon Parzen-Johnson, Kenny D. Kronforst, Rohan M. Shah, Grant R. Whitmer, Tonya Scardina, Meg Chandarraju, Sameer J. Patel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: This review summarizes how interventions in the electronic health record (EHR) can optimize antimicrobial stewardship across the continuum of antimicrobial decision making, from diagnosis of infection to discontinuation of therapy. In addition, opportunities to optimize provider communication and patient education are identified. Methods: A narrative review was conducted to identify how interventions in the EHR can influence antimicrobial prescribing behavior. Examples from pediatrics were specifically identified. Interventions were then categorized into high-impact/low-effort, high-impact/high-effort, and low-impact/low-effort groupings based on historical experience. Findings: EHR-based interventions can be used for stratifying patients at risk for infection and are useful in identifying patients with new-onset infections. Additional tools include automatically updated antibiograms tailored to specific patient populations, timely authorization of restricted antimicrobials, and more accurate allergy labeling. Medical errors can be reduced and communication between providers can be improved by standardized data fields. Clinical decision support tools can guide appropriate selection of therapy, and visual prompts can reduce unnecessarily prolonged therapy. Benchmarking of antimicrobial use, tailored patient education, and improved communication during transitions of care are enhanced through EHR-based interventions. Implications: Prescribing behavior can be modified through a range of interventions in the EHR, including tailored education, alerts, prompts, and restrictions on provider behavior. Further studies are needed to compare the effectiveness of various strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1681-1688
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Therapeutics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • antimicrobial stewardship
  • behavior
  • electronic health record

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology


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