NQF Launches Antibiotic Stewardship Initiative 

OCT 16, 2015

CONTACT: Sofia Kosmetatos

NQF Launches Antibiotic Stewardship Initiative

Washington, DC
—The National Quality Forum (NQF) has launched a new initiative to promote appropriate antibiotic use. This initiative is spearheaded by National Quality Partners (NQP), an NQF effort that galvanizes its more than 430 organizational members to take action on significant healthcare issues.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antibiotic misuse and overuse causes more than two million illnesses and 23,000 deaths globally. In addition, the CDC estimates that nearly half of all antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary or prescribed for an incorrect dose or duration.

“Antibiotic resistance poses a serious threat to global health,” said Helen Burstin, MD, MPH, NQF’s chief scientific officer. “NQF’s newly launched antibiotic stewardship initiative is driven by our membership to identify best practices for combatting inappropriate antibiotic use to improve patient care and population health.”

Over the next year, NQP will bring together public- and private-sector leaders and experts to develop a common agenda and develop and implement strategies to improve antibiotic practices among providers, healthcare organizations, and local communities.

Through this initiative, NQP expects to accelerate the adoption of antibiotic stewardship programs and enhance the use of quality measures and accountability levers to impact antibiotic prescribing patterns. Members of NQP’s antibiotic stewardship action team will provide guidance and feedback on current antibiotic stewardship metrics, recommend best practices for incorporating antibiotic stewardship into accountability programs, and promote tools and resources to support stewardship.

“The nation is at a tipping point where two roads diverge when addressing antimicrobial resistance, with one leading to solutions and the other to disaster,” said Edward Septimus, MD, medical director of infection prevention and epidemiology at HCA and co-chair of NQP’s antibiotic stewardship action team. “If we bring the right resources to bear, we can avoid a public health crisis.”

“Measurement can be challenging, but measures can help us quantify how we are doing as a nation to ensure that antibiotics are used in the most safe and effective way possible,” said Arjun Srinivasan, MD, associate director for healthcare-associated infection prevention programs, division of healthcare quality promotion, CDC, and co-chair of the NQP action team.

NQP is hosting a TweetChat on November 19, 12:00 pm-1:00 pm ET, to discuss challenges and solutions for adapting antibiotic stewardship programs in communities nationwide. Follow @NatQualityForum and use the hashtag #ABXatNQF to participate. NQP’s antibiotic stewardship action team will convene in early December to further discuss strategies and identify action plans to improve stewardship nationwide.

The antibiotic stewardship initiative is supported by a major educational grant from Merck & Co., Inc., with additional support from the Infectious Diseases Society of America, Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, Premier, and HCA.


The National Quality Forum leads national collaboration to improve health and healthcare quality through measurement. Learn more at www.qualityforum.org.