Antibiotic stewardship programs (Aps) are being established across the U.S. in response to the negative consequences associated with antibiotic overuse. Although ASPs have been successful in reducing antibiotic use within institutions, their ability to train clinicians to self-steward their antibiotic use on an ongoing basis has been less of a focus. Antibiotic stewardship programs are limited in their resources to provide real-time assistance with all antibiotics prescribed in a hospital, leading to lost opportunities to improve antibiotic prescribing. Also, teaching clinicians to incorporate stewardship concepts into their clinical practice supports the durability of stewardship principles in daily patient care. In response to drawbacks of the traditional top-down ASP approach, the Agency for healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) established the AHRQ Safety Program for Improving Antibiotic Use (i.e., the Safety Program).
In addition to assisting hospitals with establishing sustainable ASPs, an overarching goal of the Safety Program is to provide frontline clinicians with tools to incorporate stewardship principles into routine decision-making by underscoring the importance of communication around antibiotic prescribing and equipping frontline clinicians with best practices in the diagnosis and treatment of common infectious processes. The underpinnings of the Safety Program are largely drawn from the Comprehensive Unit-Based Safety Program method, an approach to make health care safer by emphasizing improved teamwork, clinical best practices, and the science of safety.
To read more about the Safety Program and a study conducted to evaluate the success of the program, click here.
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