• Antibiotics are powerful drugs that treat serious infections. However, decades of overprescribing and misuse have resulted in bacteria that are increasingly resistant to these potent drugs, creating a growing threat of new superbugs that are difficult, and sometimes even impossible, to treat. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drug-resistant bacteria cause two million illnesses and 23,000 deaths annually.

    To address this serious threat to public health, National Quality Partners (NQP) convened an Action Team of more than 25 experts and stakeholders from the public and private sectors—including patient advocates, infectious disease physicians and pharmacists, and acute-care providers—and was co-chaired by Arjun Srinivasan, MD (CAPT, USPHS), Associate Director for Healthcare-Associated Infection Prevention Programs, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Ed Septimus, MD, Medical Director, Infection Prevention and Epidemiology, HCA. Together, the Action Team developed National Quality Partners Playbook: Antibiotic Stewardship in Advanced Care, which, within only a few months of its launch, became an essential resource to help acute-care hospitals in the United States implement strategies to promote the appropriate and safe use of antibiotics.

    The Playbook is the first resource of its kind to provide a comprehensive framework to help acute-care hospitals implement CDC’s Core Elements of Antibiotic Stewardship. At the same time, it is intentionally flexible so that antibiotic stewardship programs in acute-care hospitals can meet the needs of their community and address stewardship barriers that are specific to their organization.

    The Playbook is structured around CDC’s Core Elements and provides concrete examples for hospitals, whether they are creating an antibiotic stewardship program from the ground up or strengthening a current program. The Playbook also helps hospitals address The Joint Commission’s new rules, which take effect January 1, 2017, and require hospitals to have antibiotic stewardship programs in place. The Leapfrog Group has implemented similar expectations for its public reporting program.

    NQP’s Antibiotic Stewardship Initiative was supported by an educational grant from Merck & Co., Inc., with additional support from Vizient, Inc., Astellas Pharma US, Inc., Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), Premier, Inc., and HCA.

    Contact National Quality Partners for information about how to support the development of a Playbook for the long-term care and ambulatory healthcare settings.

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