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Why Inpatient Stewardship?

Overview

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched Get Smart for Healthcare, a new campaign focused on improving antimicrobial use in inpatient healthcare settings such as acute-care facilities, and long-term care through the implementation of antimicrobial (or antibiotic) stewardship programs. These antimicrobial (or antibiotic) stewardship programs are interventions designed to ensure that hospitalized patients receive the right antibiotic, at the right dose, at the right time, and for the right duration.

Antimicrobial stewardship interventions have been proven to improve individual patient outcomes, reduce the overall burden of antibiotic resistance, and save healthcare dollars. Implementation of an antimicrobial stewardship program in a healthcare facility – regardless of inpatient setting – will help ensure that hospitalized patients receive the right antibiotic, at the right dose, at the right time, and for the right duration. As a result, there is reduced mortality, reduced risks of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea, shorter hospital stays, reduced overall antimicrobial resistance within the facility, and cost savings. Despite all of these benefits, antimicrobial stewardship programs and interventions are far from the norm in U.S. hospitals today.

If everyone — healthcare providers, hospital administrators, policy makers, and patients — works together to employ effective prevention strategies and invest in antimicrobial stewardship programs, we can more effectively combat antibiotic resistance and ultimately save lives.

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Fast Facts

  • Antibiotic overuse contributes to the growing problems of Clostridium difficile infection and antibiotic resistance in healthcare facilities.
  • Improving antibiotic use through stewardship interventions and programs improves patient outcomes, reduces antimicrobial resistance, and saves money.
  • Interventions to improve antibiotic use can be implemented in any healthcare setting—from the smallest to the largest.
  • Improving antibiotic use is a medication-safety and patient-safety issue.

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Slide Sets

Here is an introductory slide set that lays out the case for antimicrobial stewardship interventions. Please feel free to use this slide set to help make the case for these interventions.

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