Reviews

Antimicrobial stewardship for inpatient facilities

Abstract

Abstract

Antibiotic stewardship aims to improve patient care and reduce unwanted consequences of antimicrobial overuse or misuse, including lowered efficacy, emergence of antimicrobial resistance, development of secondary infections, adverse drug reactions, increased length of hospital stay, and additional healthcare costs. Recent guidelines make specific recommendations for the development of institutional programs to enhance antimicrobial stewardship. Optimally, such programs should be comprehensive, multidisciplinary, supported by hospital and medical staff leadership, and should employ evidence‐based strategies that best fit local needs and resources. An infectious diseases physician and clinical pharmacist with infectious diseases training are recommended as core members of the multidisciplinary team, although a hospitalist with interest (and perhaps additional training) in antimicrobial therapy may be able to fill the void. Program directors and core members should be compensated for their time. Principal proactive strategies—with evidence supporting their consideration—include prospective audits, with intervention and feedback, formulary restriction, and preauthorization. Other strategies include persistent one‐on‐one education, guidelines adapted to local needs, and informatics to support clinical decision making. Intervention goals are to prevent unnecessary antimicrobial starts, to streamline or de‐escalate therapy early in its course, and to convert from parenteral to oral therapy, optimize dosing, and ensure the appropriate length of therapy. Most community hospitals, if sufficiently resourced, should be able to implement a successful antimicrobial stewardship program. Evidence suggests that good antimicrobial stewardship can lead to less overall and inappropriate antimicrobial use, lower drug‐related costs, reductions in Clostridium difficile–associated disease, and, in some studies, less emergence of antimicrobial resistance. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2011;6:S4‐S15 ©2011 Society of Hospital Medicine.