NQF, CDC Issue Guidance to Help Hospitals Better Manage Use of Antibiotics 

MAY 25, 2016

CONTACT: Sofia Kosmetatos; 202-478-9326; press@qualityforum.org
Martha Sharan, DHQP Media Relations; 404-639-2683; msharan@cdc.gov

NQF, CDC Issue Guidance to Help Hospitals Better Manage Use of Antibiotics

Washington, DC
—Leading experts from the public and private sectors today released an urgently needed tool to help acute-care hospitals in the United States implement strategies to promote appropriate, safe use of antibiotics. The National Quality Forum (NQF), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and HCA led a team of more than 25 experts to create a practical guide to significantly reduce antibiotic misuse and overuse. National Quality Partners Playbook: Antibiotic Stewardship in Acute Care is based on CDC’s Core Elements of Hospital Antibiotic Stewardship Programs.

The CDC estimates that the inappropriate use of antibiotics causes antimicrobial resistance that leads to two million illnesses and 23,000 deaths annually. In addition, antibiotic overuse and misuse have spurred the spread of Clostridium difficile infections that can cause life-threatening colitis. NQF’s National Quality Partners galvanized NQF member organizations and others to tackle this national priority.

“Antibiotic resistance is a public health crisis that can strike anyone with devastating effects,” said Arjun Srinivasan, M.D. (CAPT, USPHS), associate director for healthcare associated infection prevention programs, division of healthcare quality promotion, CDC, and co-chair of NQP’s antibiotic stewardship action team. “The Playbook provides a flexible structure with real-world examples for hospitals to use as they create high-quality antibiotic stewardship programs that meet the needs of their communities.”

“The Playbook began as a national call to action to address the antibiotic crisis, and much of it incorporates what HCA has learned since launching our Antimicrobial Management Program at 168 hospitals in 2010,” said Edward Septimus, M.D., medical director of infection prevention and epidemiology, HCA, and co-chair of NQP’s antibiotic stewardship action team. “Acute care hospitals play a critical role in the safe and appropriate use of antibiotics, and the Playbook provides a comprehensive and practical plan for hospitals to implement stewardship programs that can help improve patient outcomes and reduce antibiotic resistance.”

Examples of strategies in the Playbook include the importance of team-wide, systematic approaches to: assessing when patients need antibiotics and when treatment should be adjusted; educating staff, family, and patients about appropriate antibiotic use; and, tracking and reporting antibiotic prescribing, use, and resistance.

“The Playbook provides practical strategies to guide the implementation of antibiotic stewardship programs in U.S. hospitals,” said Kathleen Giblin, R.N., senior vice president, quality innovation, NQF. “State and local health departments, as well as other key sectors, need to implement effective stewardship programs across healthcare settings. The strategies outlined in the Playbook serve as a model.”


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