Antimicrobial stewardship

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Antimicrobial stewardship is a coordinated program that promotes the appropriate use of antimicrobials (including antibiotics), improves patient outcomes, reduces microbial resistance, and decreases the spread of infections caused by multidrug-resistant organisms. 

Misuse and overuse of antimicrobials is one of the world’s most pressing public health problems. Infectious organisms adapt to the antimicrobials designed to kill them, making the drugs ineffective. People infected with antimicrobial-resistant organisms are more likely to have longer, more expensive hospital stays, and may be more likely to die as a result of an infection. 

The following resources promote the appropriate use of antimicrobials: 

Antimicrobial Stewardship Toolkit – American Hospital Association

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has compiled a new toolkit on antimicrobial stewardship in partnership with APIC and five other national organizations. The toolkit is composed of three sections: Hospital and health system resources; Clinician resources; and Patient resources.  

Medscape Special Report:  Antimicrobial resistance – Time for change — Medscape

A special collection for professional readers with recent material on antimicrobial resistance (updated 9/19/2014). (A one-time, free registration at Medscape is required to view some content).  

“The urgent need for nurse practitioners to lead antimicrobial stewardship in ambulatory health care,”Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners

This editorial by Mary Lou Manning, PhD, CRNP, CIC, FAAN, discusses the need for nurse practitioners to assume leadership in addressing the challenges of antimicrobial oversight across the spectrum of healthcare settings.

Get Smart: Know when antibiotics work

The Get Smart campaign was created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to promote appropriate use of antibiotics. The campaign offers information for healthcare personnel, consumers, program planners, and media. 

Visit the Get Smart website to learn more. 

Visit the CDC’s antibiotic/antimicrobial resistance website.

Transatlantic Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance 

In response to the mounting threat of antimicrobial resistance, the Transatlantic Taskforce for Antimicrobial Resistance (TATFAR) was established by joint declaration in 2009 at a summit between the European Union (EU) and the U.S. Read the 2011 TATFAR report on proposed collaboration between the U.S. and EU.

APIC – Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America position paper in antimicrobial stewardship 

APIC and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) collaborated to outline the roles of healthcare epidemiologists and infection preventionists in antimicrobial stewardship programs. The paper was published in the March 2012 issue of AJIC.

Infection prevention + antimicrobial stewardship = synergy (2012) 

In a summer 2012 Prevention Strategist feature article, Julia Moody, MS, SM(ASCP), shares a case study and explains the infection preventionist’s and healthcare epidemiologist’s role in antimicrobial stewardship. 

Read the article.

ARHQ Evaluation and Research on Antimicrobial Stewardship’s Effect on Clostridium difficile (ERASE C. difficile) Project

Toolkit for reduction of Clostridium difficile through antimicrobial stewardship (2012)

Antimicrobial stewardship targeted to C. difficile reduction shows promise as a complementary strategy for addressing the problem of C. difficile. The goal of this toolkit is to assist hospital staff and leadership in developing an effective ASP with the potential to reduce C. difficile. Read more.