Staphylococcus bacteremia is a common and life-threatening medical emergency, but it is treatable with appropriate antibiotic therapy. To identify opportunities that may reduce morbidity and mortality associated with S. aureus, we analyzed data from 293,094 chronic hemodialysis outpatients to characterize practices of antibiotic selection. In the study population, the overall rate of bacteremia was 15.4 per 100 outpatient-years; the incidence rate for methicillin-sensitive (MSSA) was 2.1 per 100 outpatient-years, and the incidence rate for methicillin-resistant (MRSA) S. aureus was 1.9 per 100 outpatient-years. One week after the collection of the index blood culture, 56.1% of outpatients with MSSA bacteremia were receiving vancomycin, and 16.7% of outpatients with MSSA were receiving cefazolin. Among MSSA-bacteremic patients who did not die or get hospitalized 1 week after blood culture collection, use of cefazolin was associated with a 38% lower risk for hospitalization or death compared with vancomycin (adjusted HR=0.62, 95% CI=0.46-0.84). In conclusion, vancomycin is commonly used to treat MSSA bacteremia in outpatients receiving chronic dialysis, but there may be more risk of treatment failure than observed among those individuals who receive a β-lactam antibiotic such as cefazolin.