How leading antimicrobial stewardship programs combat antibiotic resistance — 3 key takeaways

A new study in The Joint Commission Journal on Safety and Patient Quality identifies trends among prominent antimicrobial stewardship programs combating the threat of antibiotic resistance.

Here is what you need to know:

1. Antibiotic misuse can lead to antibiotic resistance, which accounts for over two million infections and 23,000 deaths a year in the U.S. While The Joint Commission and CMS require hospitals to have ASPs, implementation can be challenging.

2. To identify the characteristics of innovative ASPs, interviews were conducted with 12 program leaders at four prominent ASPs in the U.S.. Three major themes emerged:

  • The ASP evolves from a top-down structure to a more diffuse approach, involving unit-based pharmacists, multidisciplinary staff and shared responsibility for antimicrobial prescribing under the ASPs' leadership.
  • Integration of information technology systems enable real-time interventions to optimize antimicrobial therapy and patient management.
  • Barriers to technology integration, including limited resources for data analysis and poor interoperability between software systems.

3. Leading ASPs used personnel expansion to increase the ASP's impact and integrated IT resources into daily workflow to improve efficiency.

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