Cardinal Health Launches New Antimicrobial Stewardship Program

With new antimicrobial stewardship requirements announced for implementation in 2017, Cardinal Health launched its Antimicrobial Stewardship Program.  The program will help hospitals focus on the seven core elements of antimicrobial stewardship – the principle component of these new requirements. It is designed to help hospitals become compliant with the new requirements while optimizing antibiotic use and combating antibiotic resistance.

“The changing healthcare environment is complex, and hospital decision makers are looking for guidance in antimicrobial stewardship requirements,” said Kathy Chase, product leader in drug cost control solutions at Cardinal Health “We’ve heard this repeatedly from customers as they navigate the new requirements coming in January 2017, and we’re proud to offer a program that meets the needs of our community and helps them achieve optimal clinical outcomes related to antimicrobial use.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 23,000 deaths occur annually as a result of 2 million people sickened by antibiotic-resistant infections, and up to 50 percent of antibiotic use in hospitals is inappropriate. To combat these outcomes, Cardinal Health is offering a three-tiered approach to antimicrobial stewardship:

1. Assessment: The program begins with analyzing hospitals’ current processes, determining if the core elements of stewardship and the related new requirements are being met, and recommending how to close gaps.
 
2. Implementation: Necessary steps are implemented to realize the impact of the core elements of stewardship and move hospitals toward compliance.  This includes educating hospital staff. This is a customized process, designed to align with hospitals’ resource capabilities.
 
3. Antimicrobial Analytics: Because antibiotic analytics are a key element of the new requirements, the final step is to trend antibiotic selection and use over time and benchmark to other hospitals; compare “drug vs. bug” to evaluate susceptibility and resistance patterns and determine best agent for the hospital population. This allows hospitals to drill into DRG and prescribing physician information.

Recent case studies of Cardinal Health’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Program show dramatic results from hospital systems of various sizes, including a 20 percent to 40 percent recorded reduction in antimicrobial costs and up to 50 percent reduction in selected antimicrobial drug spending. Comprehensive programs have demonstrated a 22 to 36 percent decrease in antimicrobial use, resulting in an annual savings of $200,000 to $900,000.
 
Source:  Cardinal Health, Inc.

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