Antibiotic Stewardship

Frequently Asked Questions about Entering your Antibiotic Start Data

Why should I report my antibiotic start data to DPH?

Antibiotic Tracking is a CDC Core Element of Antibiotic Stewardship. We will create benchmarking reports so you can see how your antibiotic use compares to other similar facilities in the state. These reports can be used to start an essential conversation about responsible antibiotic use with leadership at your facility.

When do I report?

You can report data for any of the three months of a quarter, throughout that quarter and up to a month following the end of a quarter.

For example, you can report January data from February 1 to April 30.

See reporting calendar here.

You can report all three months at one time (you will still need to fill out the survey three separate times) or continue to report monthly as you have in the past.

Where do I enter my data?

Enter your monthly data using this online tool.

Do I use the same link every month?


What is an antibiotic start? How do I report antibiotic starts?

An antibiotic start is a new antibiotic prescription. A new resident admitted to your facility already on an antibiotic would also count as an antibiotic start for the month that they were admitted. Report total antibiotic starts by antibiotic type for the report month. For example, if your facility had three residents start on ceftriaxone in January, you would enter "3" in the survey field under ceftriaxone for January.

How are antibiotic start rates calculated?

Antibiotic start rates are calculated by dividing the total number of antibiotic starts by the total number of resident days.

When will I receive my benchmarking report?

Starting in 2022, the Department of Public Health (DPH) will be generating quarterly antibiotic start reports. Facilities will still report monthly data, but the reports will reflect aggregated quarterly data.

We send benchmarking reports to participating facilities quarterly after the end of each reporting period. For example, the quarter 1 reporting period ends April 30, so participating facilities should expect benchmarking reports in early May.

See reporting calendar here.

It's past the reporting deadline for the quarter. Can I report data retrospectively?

You can report quarterly data past the deadline, but you will not receive a report for that quarter. DPH cannot generate a report for you past the deadline. The retrospective numbers will, however, be included in future reports.

Do not report data for prior calendar years.

How do I calculate resident days?

There are three different ways to calculate resident days:

  1. Add your daily census for each day of the month. OR
  2. Multiply your average daily census for the month by the number of days in the month. OR
  3. If you do not have daily census information, you can use your percent occupancy on the last day of the month in following formula to approximate resident-days.

Resident days = your percent occupancy X total facility bed size X number of days in the month.

For example: A facility with 80% occupancy on the last day of January with a total facility bed size of 100 would have resident days = 0.80 x 100 x 31 days in January = 2480.

If a new patient is admitted to my facility ON an antibiotic during the month I am reporting for, should I count this as an antibiotic start for the month?

Yes. Admitting a patient on an antibiotic represents an opportunity to re-evaluate the need for it.

What if I have NO antibiotic starts for the month I am reporting?

You should still complete the survey. You simply will not enter numbers for any of the antibiotics listed. You will still provide us with your resident days for this month.

How should I report an antibiotic prescription that does not have an end date and is prescribed indefinitely, e.g. for prophylaxis or chronic suppression?

If the antibiotic order does not have an end date and is prescribed indefinitely, report the antibiotic as usual, only once for the month in which the antibiotic was initiated.

How should I report an antibiotic prescription with a duration of therapy that extends across two or more months?

Report antibiotic starts that extend across two or more months as usual, only once for the month in which the antibiotic was initiated. For example: a resident is prescribed cephalexin for three months, from January through March. You should report the cephalexin as an antibiotic start once for January.

Should I report Hiprex (methenamine hippurate)?

No. This drug is not considered an antibiotic and is more accurately called an antiseptic or anti-infective drug.

Should I report antivirals such as Tamiflu or Paxlovid?


Should I report antifungals such as Diflucan (fluconazole)?


Should I report topical antibiotics such as Bacitracin, creams, eye drops and ointments?


Can DPH send my antibiotic start report to multiple people at my facility?

DPH can only send the generated antibiotic start report to the email(s) you specify in the 'Your Email Address' field of the survey. DPH does not maintain a listserv.

If you would like the report to go to multiple people, you can enter multiple emails in this field separated by semicolons. For example, ";"

What if my facility is not listed in the drop-down menu under the "Facility Name" field in the survey?

Please choose the 'Other' option in the drop-down menu and enter in your facility name manually. Contact if your facility is not listed in the drop-down menu. We make changes to the survey annually and can include your facility in the next iteration.

Where can I find a spreadsheet that helps me to track my data throughout the month?

We recommend using IPRO’s Monthly Infection and Antibiotic Tracking Tool found here: Implementing Strategies for COVID-19 Surveillance and Early Detection - IPRO NQIIC