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HVCH following new antibiotic standards

Antimicrobial Stewardship is a new Joint Commission Standard for 2017. The standard states that in 2017, all hospitals must have an Antimicrobial Stewardship Program based on current scientific literature.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths in the US each year are caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria. From 30-50% of all antibiotics prescribed in acute care hospitals in the US are either unnecessary or inappropriate.

HVCH has formed a team that will be comprised of Physicians, Pharmacy, Lab, Infection Control, Nursing Leadership, Information Services, Education, and Quality Improvement. The committee’s mission states, “We will ensure the appropriate use of antimicrobials and reduce antimicrobial resistance within our hospital to improve the health of our patients. We will implement strategies to achieve that goal and measure outcomes for our facility and patients.”

The committee also has a vision: “To improve the overall care of patients requiring antimicrobials within our hospital.”

The committee’s goals are to: 1. Review all antibiotic containing order set; 2. Require indication and duration on all antibiotic orders prior to processing; 3. Implement an antibiotic “time-out” procedure 48 to 72 hours after the antibiotic is initiated; 4. Increase conversions from intravenous to oral antibiotics; 5. Introduce educational opportunities to both staff and patients; 6. Decrease antimicrobial drug costs.

The committee will hold quarterly meetings and review data collected from our facility and make changes as necessary. We have received a signed letter of commitment from our Board of Trustees and Senior Leadership Team with signatures of the CEO, CNO, Board of Trustees President, Chief of Staff, and Director of Pharmacy.