Antimicrobial stewardship: philosophy versus practice.
To promote the judicious use of antimicrobials and preserve their usefulness in the setting of growing resistance, a number of policy-making bodies and professional societies have advocated the development of antimicrobial stewardship programs. Although these programs have been implemented at many institutions in the United States, their impact has been difficult to measure. Current recommendations advocate the use of both outcome and process measures as metrics for antimicrobial stewardship. Although patient outcome metrics have the greatest impact on the quality of care, the literature shows that antimicrobial use and costs are the indicators measured most frequently by institutions to justify the effectiveness of antimicrobial stewardship programs. The measurement of more meaningful outcomes has been constrained by difficulties inherent to these measures, lack of funding and resources, and inadequate study designs. Antimicrobial stewardship can be made more credible by refocusing the antimicrobial review process to target specific disease states, reassessing the usefulness of current metrics, and integrating antimicrobial stewardship program initiatives into institutional quality and safety efforts.
Dodds Ashley, ES; Kaye, KS; DePestel, DD; Hermsen, ED
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