Antibiotic checklist to improve Antibiotic Prescribing

Through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and their new Vital Signs report, the main focus remains on the use of antibiotics and raising awareness of antibiotic therapy.

A statement from CDC Director, Dr. Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, “Improving antibiotic prescribing can save today’s patients from deadly infections and protect lifesaving antibiotics for tomorrow’s patients.”   “Healthcare facilities are an important part of the solution to drug resistance and every hospital in the country should have a strong antibiotic stewardship program.”

Through the National Healthcare Safety Network, healthcare – associated infection (HAI) tracking system the CDC provides facilities, states, regions, and the nation data needed to identify problem areas, the measurable progress of prevention efforts being made with constant interventions and goal to eliminate HAI’s across the board.

The CDC recommends every hospital implement a Stewardship program that includes the following seven key elements:

Accountability: Appoint a single leader responsible for program outcome. Physicians have proven successful in this role.

Act: Take at least one prescribing improvement action, such as requiring reassessment of prescriptions within 48 hours to check drug choice, dose, and duration.

Drug Expertise: Appoint a single Pharmacist leader to support improved prescribing.

Educate: Offer education about antibiotic resistance and improve prescribing practices.

Leadership Commitment: Dedicate the necessary human, financial, and IT resources.

Report: Regularly report prescribing and resistance information to clinicians.

Track: Monitor prescribing and antibiotic resistance patterns.

The CDC stresses the importance of communicating and working with other health care facilities in the area to prevent infection transmission, and resistance from occurring.

To read the Vital Signs report in its’ entirety please click on the following link:


The CDC Antibiotic Stewardship Program:  Save money with antibiotic stewardship


Antibiotic stewardship programs and interventions help ensure that patients get the right antibiotics at the right time for the right duration. Numerous studies have shown that implementing an antibiotic stewardship program can not only save lives, but can save significant healthcare dollars.   Inpatient antibiotic stewardship programs have consistently demonstrated annual savings to hospitals and other healthcare facilities of $200,000 to $400,000.

A University of Maryland study showed one antibiotic stewardship program saved a total of $17 million over 8 years.   Antibiotic stewardship helps improve patient care and shorten hospital stays, thus benefiting patients as well as hospitals.

According to a University of Maryland study, implementation of one antibiotic stewardship program saved a total of $17 million over 8 years at one institution.  * After the program was discontinued, antibiotic costs increased over $1 million in the first year (an increase of 23 percent) and continued to increase the following year.

  • In a study conducted at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, it was demonstrated that guidelines for management of community-acquired pneumonia could promote the use of shorter courses of therapy, saving money and promoting patient safety.
  • Targeting certain infections may decrease antibiotic use. For example, determining when and how to treat patients for urinary tract infections, the second most common bacterial infection leading to hospitalization, can lead to improved patient outcomes and cost savings.
  • Why we must act now: The way we use antibiotics today or in one patient directly impacts how effective they will be tomorrow or in another patient; they are a shared resource.  Antibiotic resistance is not just a problem for the person with the infection. Some resistant bacteria have the potential to spread to others — promoting antibiotic-resistant infections. Since it will be many years before new antibiotics are available to treat some resistant infections, we need to improve the use of antibiotics that are currently available.
  • Healthcare facility administrators and payers can – Make appropriate antibiotic use a quality improvement and patient safety priority.  Focus on reducing unnecessary antibiotic use, which can reduce antibiotic-resistant infections, Clostridium difficile infections, and costs, while improving patient outcomes.   Emphasize and implement antibiotic stewardship programs and interventions for every facility – regardless of facility setting and size.  Monitor Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) performance measures on pharyngitis, upper respiratory infections, acute bronchitis, and antibiotic utilization.

For more information regarding the CDC Antibiotic Stewardship information please click on the following link: