The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a new resource for small and critical access hospitals to help healthcare facility leaders and providers implement antibiotic stewardship activities in their facilities. The Implementation of Antimicrobial Stewardship Core Elements at Small and Critical Access Hospitals uses the CDC Core Elements of Hospital Antibiotic Stewardship Programs as a framework for initiating and/or expanding antibiotic stewardship activities.
Small and critical access hospitals face special challenges in addressing antibiotic use, and in implementing a robust antibiotic stewardship program due to limitations in staffing, infrastructure, and resources. Each hospital is unique, so this document is not a checklist of “must-dos.” Instead, it offers a range of options and encourages these hospitals to choose what would be most effective based on their needs and resources.
- CDC data indicated a major gap in hospital implementation of the Core Elements. According to data from the National Healthcare Safety Network annual hospital survey, hospitals with 25 or fewer beds were half as likely to have programs meeting all the core elements than hospitals with more than 50 beds.
- CDC and partners met with hospital representatives to get their feedback, gain a more in-depth understanding of the challenges, and develop resources uniquely tailored to their setting and the patients they serve.
- CDC partnered with The Pew Charitable Trusts, The American Hospital Association, and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to develop the resource in an effort to improve antibiotic prescribing and use, protect patients, and reduce the threat of antibiotic-resistant infections like difficile.