Developing an antimicrobial stewardship program across a rural health system: The Avera Health experience.

Developing an antimicrobial stewardship program across a rural health system: The Avera Health experience.

Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2019 Jan 16;76(2):108-113

Authors: Laible BR, Grosdidier J, Nazir J

Abstract
PURPOSE: The stages of development of a health system-wide antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) using existing personnel and technology are described.
SUMMARY: Small hospitals with limited resources may struggle to meet ASP requirements, particularly facilities without onsite infectious disease physicians and/or experienced infectious disease pharmacists. Strategies for ASP development employed by Avera Health, a 33-hospital health system in the Midwest, included identifying relevant drug utilization and resistance patterns, education and pathway development, and implementation of Web-based conferencing to provide pharmacists throughout the system with access to infectious disease expertise on a daily basis. These efforts resulted in an evolving single-system ASP that has leveraged existing resources to overcome some system barriers. Program outcomes to date include a reduction in the use of a targeted agent, improved pathogen susceptibility trends, and rates of hospital-associated Clostridium difficile infection below national benchmarks.
CONCLUSION: The Avera Health ASP grew from a collaborative project targeting levofloxacin overuse and resistance among key bacteria to a formal, health system-wide ASP in a rural setting. This program used existing personnel to provide standardized processes, educational campaigns, and antimicrobial expertise through the use of technology. This ASP program may provide helpful examples of ASP strategies for other rural health systems with similar resources.

PMID: 31408091 [PubMed - in process]