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The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) is encouraged by a new report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlining key elements of sustainable and effective antibiotic stewardship plans in long-term care settings. SHEA strongly believes that addressing antibiotic resistance across the healthcare continuum must include efforts geared towards improving antibiotic-prescribing practices through the creation of antibiotic stewardship programs improve patient care practices and make important strides in addressing the National Action Plan for Combatting Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria.
The report provides much needed implementation guidance as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalize a rule establishing antibiotic stewardship programs as a requirement for long-term care facilities’ participation in Medicare. The recommendations highlight the need for all healthcare providers to use antibiotics appropriately and as needed.
Providing a framework for healthcare professionals to establish stewardship programs in long-term care settings specifically helps cement many formal and informal stewardship programs already in place.
"Reducing the unnecessary use of antibiotics across all healthcare settings directly helps to curb the spread of drug-resistant infections. Stewardship programs help to preserve the efficacy of antibiotics and promote patient safety, which can improve patient care no matter where the patient is treated," says Anthony Harris, MD, MPH, SHEA president.
"This report supports the healthcare community working together to track the spread of drug-resistant infections and make aggressive strides toward fostering appropriate antibiotic use in their own communities by providing a practical step forward in unifying the core elements of stewardship programs,” said Harris.
SHEA is an advocate for promoting the judicious use of antibiotics in patients and populations through research, expert guidance, and education in the area of antibiotic stewardship.