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Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI)
Antibiotic Stewardship
What is Antibiotic Stewardship?
Antibiotic stewardship is the overall effort/programs that encourage appropriate and correct antibiotic prescribing.

Why Antibiotic Stewardship?
  • Antibiotic resistance is a real and increasing problem.
  • 30-50% of antibiotic use in hospitals is unnecessary or inappropriate.
  • Antibiotic overuse also contributes to the growing problem of Clostridium difficile infection
  • Reducing unnecessary antibiotic use can decrease antibiotic resistance, Clostridium difficile infections, and healthcare costs, and improve patient outcomes.
  • Improving antibiotic use is a patient-safety issue since antibiotics can cause have adverse effects.
Antibiotic Stewardship Program Core Elements

Leadership Commitment: Dedicating necessary human, financial and information technology resources including physicians, nurses, pharmacists and IT specialists.

Accountability: Appointing a single leader responsible for program outcomes. Experience with successful programs show that a physician leader is effective.

Drug Expertise: Appointing a single pharmacist leader responsible for working to improve antibiotic use.

Action: Implementing specific recommended actions such as automatic review of prescribing at 48-72 hours, reminders for IV to oral switch, limiting reporting of susceptibilities where appropriate.

Tracking: Monitoring antibiotic prescribing and resistance patterns.
Reporting: Regular reporting information on antibiotic use and resistance to doctors, nurses and relevant staff.

Education: Educating prescribers about resistance and optimal prescribing.

For more specific program recommendations, visit CDC's Get Smart for Healthcare Page.
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