Today, an urgently needed tool was introduced to help US hospitals implement strategies to promote the appropriate, safe use of antibiotics. The National Quality Forum (NQF) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alongside a team of more than 25 experts, including Premier Inc., convened to create the Antibiotic Stewardship in Acute Care: A Practical Playbook.
Examples of strategies in the Playbook include team-wide, systematic approaches to: assessing when patients need antibiotics and when treatment should be adjusted; educating staff, family, and patients about appropriate antibiotic use; and, tracking and reporting antibiotic prescribing, use, and resistance.
Premier hospital members have been taking steps to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In fact, since the launch of Premier’s nationwide collaborative initiative to improve antibiotic overuse, more hospitals are adopting antibiotic stewardship programs. Premier’s spring Economic Outlook survey suggests 97 percent of health system C-Suite feel that developing/enhancing an antimicrobial stewardship program is a top priority – this is up from 81 percent in the fall.
It has been estimated that up to half of antibiotic use in hospitals is unnecessary and inappropriate. In fact, Premier/CDC research found that 78% of hospitals were overprescribing redundant combinations of intravenous (IV) antibiotics for two or more days. In addition, antibiotic overuse and misuse have spurred the spread of Clostridium difficile infections that can cause life-threatening colitis. In a recent study on the impact of C.difficile, Premier found that the majority of cases analyzed were associated with concomitant antibiotic use.