A new survey examines antibiotic stewardship programs nationally
A new survey, conducted by researchers at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, examines how healthcare systems and hospitals manage the use of antibiotics. While antibiotics are one of the most effective tools used to treat infections, their overuse can result in antibiotic-resistant germs.
To understand how healthcare providers can best care for patients without contributing to the rise of superbugs, researchers surveyed 20 different healthcare systems, including Kaiser Permanente, the Mayo Clinic and the Veterans Health Administration. The survey grouped antimicrobial stewardship programs from around the country according to their structure and function to determine which approaches are the most effective. Researchers found that four categories of programs exist, ranging from those that are loosely organized with minimal oversight to models with system-level leadership and accountability.
Every healthcare system is federally mandated to have an antibiotic stewardship program. This study contributes to our understanding of antibiotic use and will help healthcare systems determine the best practices.