National Spotlight on Antimicrobial Stewardship

National attention to the issue of antibiotic stewardship is increasing. Drug-resistant bacteria cause 2 million illnesses and about 23,000 deaths each year in the U.S., the CDC estimates. At a White House forum on the topic in June 2015, Jonathan Perlin, M.D., shared information about what the AHA, VA and HCA are doing to improve the appropriate use of antibiotics, along with health care leaders from Ascension, Intermountain and Kaiser. Dr. Perlin is president, clinical and physician services, and chief medical officer of HCA and also the chair of the AHA board of trustees.

National attention to the issue of antibiotic stewardship is increasing. Drug-resistant bacteria cause 2 million illnesses and about 23,000 deaths each year in the U.S., the CDC estimates. At a White House forum on the topic in June 2015, Jonathan Perlin, M.D., shared information about what the AHA, VA and HCA are doing to improve the appropriate use of antibiotics, along with health care leaders from Ascension, Intermountain and Kaiser. Dr. Perlin is president, clinical and physician services, and chief medical officer of HCA and also the chair of the AHA board of trustees.

More work is needed to strengthen nationwide antibiotic stewardship programs, track antibiotic use and better understand antibiotic resistance, but many organizations—not only in the health care field, of course—are committed to this work. The AHA is committed and offers valuable resources for hospitals. The AHA's Physician Leadership Forum developed the Antimicrobial Stewardship Toolkit with six national partners. The toolkit includes a readiness assessment tool created by the CDC; implementation guides and other materials to help hospitals and health systems develop or enhance their stewardship programs; and resources for clinicians and patients. In addition, all hospitals and health care systems can share antimicrobial use data with the CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network.

To learn more about how your health care organization can get involved, visit the CDC website. For links to resources from the AHA and other groups, visit the Physician Leadership Forum website.

HPOE.org features case studies, webinars and guides from AHA resources and other groups.

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