Positive Clinical Outcomes Through Antibiotic Stewardship

According to the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials is one of the world’s most pressing public health problems. Infectious organisms adapt to the antimicrobials designed to kill them, making the drugs ineffective.

Did You Know Facts:

Approximately 4.1 million Americans are admitted to or reside in nursing homes each year.
  • Antibiotics are the most frequently prescribed medications in nursing homes.
  • Up to 70 percent of residents receive one or more courses of antibiotics during a year.
  • Up to 75 percent of antibiotics prescribed in nursing homes are given incorrectly, meaning either the drug is unnecessary or the prescription is for the wrong drug, dose, or duration.
  • People infected with antimicrobial-resistant organisms are more likely to have longer, more expensive hospital stays, and may be more likely to die as a result of an infection.

Download the Antibiotic Stewardship Infographic from CDC below.


Antimicrobial stewardship is a coordinated program that promotes the appropriate use of antimicrobials (including antibiotics), improves patient outcomes, reduces microbial resistance, and decreases the spread of infections caused by multi-drug-resistant organisms.

Today, we not only see the importance of a solid Antibiotic Stewardship Program (including regulatory and governmental best practices), but also as a requirement.

New recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise all nursing homes to improve antibiotic prescribing practices and reduce their inappropriate use to protect residents from the consequences of antibiotic-resistant infections.

To guide these improvements, CDC released a new resource:  Core Elements of Antibiotic Stewardship for Nursing Homes. The Core Elements for Nursing Homes expand upon CDC’s recommendation last year that all acute care hospitals implement an antibiotic stewardship program designed to optimize treatment of infections while reducing adverse events associated with antibiotic use.

Post-Acute Leadership Tips for Antibiotic Stewardship:

  1. Leadership commitment: Demonstrate support and commitment to safe and appropriate antibiotic use.
  2. Accountability: Identify leaders who are responsible for promoting and overseeing antibiotic stewardship activities at the nursing home.
  3. Drug expertise: Establish access to experts with experience or training in improving antibiotic use.
  4. Action: Take at least one new action to improve the way antibiotics are used in the facility.
  5. Tracking: Measure how antibiotics are used and the complications (e.g., C.difficile infections) from antibiotics in the facility.
  6. Reporting: Share information with healthcare providers and staff about how antibiotics are used in the facility.
  7. Education: Provide resources to healthcare providers, nursing staff, residents and families to learn about antibiotic resistance and opportunities for improving antibiotic use.
Susan LaGrange,RN, BSN, NHA
Director of Education, Pathway Health

Susan LaGrange, RN, BSN, NHA Director of Education, Pathway Health