What is Antibiotic Stewardship?
Antibiotic stewardship is the overall effort/programs that encourage appropriate and correct antibiotic prescribing.
Why Antibiotic Stewardship?
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.
Educating prescribers about resistance and optimal prescribing.For more specific program recommendations, visit CDC's Get Smart for Healthcare Page.