Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care earns HANYS 2021 Pinnacle Award for Antibiotic Stewardship Program

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Neal Shipley is medical director of Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care.

Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care has been honored by the Healthcare Association of New York State with a Pinnacle Award for Quality and Patient Safety.

Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care was recognized for its implementation of an antibiotic stewardship program across its large-scale urgent care network.

Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care began an antibiotic stewardship program in 2019 to monitor and improve the way antibiotics are prescribed by providers and taken by patients. Within the first year of the program, the network’s 52 urgent care centers had shown a 21 percent drop in total antibiotic use, equating to 167,000 fewer antibiotic prescriptions.

The stewardship program effectively safeguards patients from antibiotic resistance, side effects and medical costs.

“The overuse of antibiotics has a tremendous impact on the physical and financial health of our patients and community,” said Neal Shipley, medical director, Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care. “Nationwide, urgent care centers are responsible for the largest percentage of inappropriate antibiotic usage. It was something that we simply couldn’t ignore, and we are proud HANYS has recognized our team’s steadfast dedication to our customers.”

Inappropriate antibiotic use is a national issue, particularly in the urgent care space, where 39 percent of visits result in an antibiotic prescription. Approximately 2 million antibiotic-resistant infections and 23,000 deaths occur each year in the United States as a result of inappropriate antibiotic use. Among the accomplishments recognized by HANYS was the scalability and potential for replication of Northwell-GoHealth’s ASP.

The ASP relies upon the partnership of clinical leaders, who educate practitioners and patients to foster a culture of antibiotic awareness. GoHealth Urgent Care’s regional markets across the country have begun to adopt Northwell-GoHealth’s ASP. The organization hopes to see other urgent care centers develop programs of their own.

“Antimicrobial resistance is a tremendous threat,” said Bea Grause, president, Healthcare Association of New York State. “We are honored to celebrate Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care’s terrific antibiotic stewardship work. They are truly deserving of a Pinnacle Award and are a model for other providers striving to achieve similar success.”

HANYS’ Pinnacle Award for Quality and Patient Safety recognizes successful quality improvement and innovative patient safety initiatives in four categories based on organization size and type each year. Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care is the first of four 2021 winners to be announced.

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