Antimicrobial stewardship: another focus for patient safety?

Journal Article (Review)

Purpose of review

This review describes the overlapping aspects of antimicrobial stewardship and patient-safety initiatives and justifies why stewardship belongs under the umbrella of patient safety.

Recent findings

Addressing the continued emergence of antibiotic resistance through the discovery of new drugs is not a sustainable strategy, particularly as antibiotics are increasingly more difficult and costly to develop. Thus, it is essential that we preserve the utility of existing antibiotics. Antimicrobial stewardship programs can assist with achieving this goal. Currently, however, the term 'antimicrobial stewardship' is generally not easily understood by regulators, hospital administrators, or the public. Perhaps more clout would be given to antimicrobial stewardship if it is associated with safety. In this review, we present concrete examples of how antimicrobial stewardship programs can focus on achieving goals already recognized as essential for patient safety.


Patient safety is an integral component of antimicrobial stewardship. To make the concept of antimicrobial stewardship more palatable, the association between antimicrobial stewardship and safety needs to be emphasized.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Tamma, PD; Holmes, A; Ashley, ED

Published Date

  • August 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 27 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 348 - 355

PubMed ID

  • 24945612

Pubmed Central ID

  • 24945612

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1473-6527

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0951-7375

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/qco.0000000000000077


  • eng