We sought to determine whether antimicrobial susceptibility data from a nonteaching community hospital could be used to detect statistically significant local increases in resistance among Streptococcus pneumoniae over a 5-year period. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of penicillin and ceftriaxone from 1997-1998 were compared with those from 2000-2001. MICs of penicillin and ceftriaxone for organisms collected in a nonteaching community hospital in central Illinois were used for analysis. The hospital has 224 beds and a catchment area of approximately 40 miles. There were significant increases in MICs of penicillin and ceftriaxone between 1997-1998 and 2000-2001. The MIC of penicillin increased from 0.042 to 0.121 μg/mL (P = .001; 95% confidence interval, -1.713 to -0.388), and the MIC of ceftriaxone increased from 0.028 to 0.071μg/mL (P = .005; 95% confidence interval, -1.353 to -0.188). There were no significant changes in the percentage of S. pneumoniae isolates that were resistant, intermediate, or susceptible to penicillin and ceftriaxone. MIC data from a community hospital can be used to detect local increases in the rate of resistance before antibiogram data show significant changes. This information is important for demonstrating to physicians the need to review local antibiotic use in the attempt to slow the development of resistant organisms in the community.