The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) strongly supports the ongoing efforts by the Obama Administration to tackle antibiotic resistance with a focus on antibiotic stewardship and will be in attendance at today’s Antibiotic Stewardship Forum at the White House. As part of the initiative, SHEA has committed to address needs across all healthcare settings to create, implement and sustain antibiotic stewardship programs through a variety of programming, educational and stakeholder opportunities.
“We are encouraged that the Administration has taken a proactive role in helping find solutions to stem antibiotic resistance, one of the most pressing issues we face in healthcare. SHEA is ready to do our part in this collaborative effort to address this emerging public health crisis,” says Anthony D. Harris, MD, MPH, president of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and professor of epidemiology and public health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
“Overuse and misuse of antibiotics by healthcare professionals contributes significantly to the problem of antibiotic resistance. A key piece is to launch successful antibiotic stewardship programs, which serve as integrated, coordinated efforts to manage antibiotics across the healthcare spectrum, including hospitals, long-term care institutions, and primary care settings. Leaders of antimicrobial stewardship programs require specific education and training to create programs that are successfully implemented and sustained. Additionally, success lies in creating an overarching culture of understanding where, when and how antibiotics should be used and creating a team available for expert consultation to clarify misunderstandings and direct appropriate use institution-wide.”
“Without real action, antibiotic resistance will continue to threaten patients, increase healthcare costs and eliminate valuable drug interventions setting modern medicine back decades. Healthcare systems must invest in making strong antimicrobial stewardship a way to practice and deliver care based on a team-approach,” says Harris.
“This is an all-hands-on-deck moment. We all need to unite – public organizations, private entities, academic and research institutions, federal, state and local officials, and patient advocates – to address the issue head on, and implement evidence-based interventions such as stewardship in all clinical settings to improve care and preserve the efficacy of trusted antibiotics.”