CDC Releases Antimicrobial Stewardship Resource for Small and Critical Access Hospitals
According to the CDC, antibiotics have transformed the practice of medicine, making once lethal infections readily treatable and making other medical advances, like cancer chemotherapy and organ transplants, possible. The prompt initiation of antibiotics to treat infections has been proven to reduce morbidity and save lives, with a recent example being the rapid administration of antibiotics in the management of sepsis. However, 20-50% of all antibiotics prescribed in U.S. acute care hospitals are either unnecessary or inappropriate. The CDC estimates more than two million people are infected with antibiotic-resistant organisms, resulting in approximately 23,000 deaths annually.
A new resource, released by the CDC for small and Critical Access Hospital, was guided by providers in these settings and is designed to address their unique challenges. The Implementation of Antimicrobial Stewardship Core Elements at Small and Critical Access Hospitals uses the CDC Core Elements of Hospital Antibiotic Stewardship Programs as a framework for initiating and/or expanding antibiotic stewardship activities.
The CDC and partners met with hospital representatives to get their feedback, gain a more in-depth understanding of the challenges, and develop resources uniquely tailored to their setting and the patients they serve. The CDC partnered with The Pew Charitable Trusts, The American Hospital Association, and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to develop the resource in an effort to improve antibiotic prescribing and use, protect patients, and reduce the threat of antibiotic-resistant infections like C. difficile.
The Core Elements of Antibiotic Stewardship has been developed to help healthcare facility leaders and providers implement stewardship activities in their facilities. The new resource is the fourth addition to the Core Elements series that provides recommendations for antibiotic stewardship programs and practices in hospitals, nursing homes and outpatient facilities.
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