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A new survey examines antibiotic stewardship programs nationally

four capsule pills next to an orange pill bottle with a label reading amoxicillin 500 MG
MPCA Photos
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Amoxicillin is an antibiotic used to treat many kinds of infections.

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.

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Caroline Long is a science reporter at UPR. She is curious about the natural world and passionate about communicating her findings with others. As a PhD student in Biology at Utah State University, she spends most of her time in the lab or at the coyote facility, studying social behavior. In her free time, she enjoys making art, listening to music, and hiking.