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New Playbook Guides Hospitals on Problem of Drug-Resistant Bacteria

The National Quality Forum (NQF) recently published the Antibiotic Stewardship in Acute Care: A Practical Playbook to guide hospitals in significantly reducing antibiotic misuse and overuse. Available on the NQF website, the free publication is a joint effort of the NQF, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), which tapped a team of 25-plus leading experts to create the 34-page report.  

“Acute care hospitals play a critical role in the safe and appropriate use of antibiotics, and the Playbook provides a comprehensive and practical plan for hospitals to implement stewardship programs that can help improve patient outcomes and reduce antibiotic resistance,” said Edward Septimus, MD, cochair of the NQF National Quality Partners antibiotic stewardship action team and medical director of infection prevention and epidemiology at HCA.

The guide’s strategies for promoting appropriate and safe use of antibiotics are organized around the CDC’s 7 core elements of antibiotic stewardship programs: leadership commitment, accountability, drug expertise, action, tracking, reporting, and education.

The Playbook advocates for team-wide, systematic approaches to:

• assessing when patients need antibiotics and when treatment should be adjusted;

• educating staff, family, and patients about appropriate use of antibiotics; and,

• tracking and reporting antibiotic prescribing, use, and resistance.

“The Playbook provides a flexible structure with real-world examples for hospitals to use as they create high-quality antibiotic stewardship programs that meet the needs of their communities,” said Capt. Arjun Srinivasan, MD, US Public Health Service, associate director for healthcare associated infection prevention programs, CDC, and cochair of the National Quality Partners antibiotic stewardship action team.

According to the CDC, drug-resistant bacteria cause 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths each year.

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