Antibiotic Stewardship Certification Program

Antibiotic resistance and the need to control multi-drug resistant organisms, particularly in health care settings, are among the major issues confronting health care providers today.  With studies showing that up to 50 percent of antibiotic use is inappropriate, antibiotic stewardship has become a top federal priority as well, with the Obama administration announcing a National Action Plan on the issue in March 2015.

To help combat the serious problem of antibiotic-resistant organisms in greater New York area health care systems, United Hospital Fund and Greater New York Hospital Association created the Antibiotic Stewardship Certification Program in 2015.  The program, which is supported by grants from UHF, uses a multidisciplinary-team-based approach to help hospitals take their antibiotic management programs to a more advanced level.

In the program’s first phase, each participating hospital assigned a team to assess their institution’s current antibiotic stewardship program, including an analysis of barriers to optimal antibiotic use.  In addition, the program partnered with the New York State Council of Health–System Pharmacists to offer two sessions of an Antibiotic Stewardship Certification Program to two-person clinical teams from GNYHA’s member hospitals (usually an infectious disease physician and a clinical pharmacist).  One hundred and forty-eight clinicians from 64 hospitals completed the certificate program—and returned to their hospitals to implement core strategies based on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s publication Core Elements of Hospital Antibiotic Stewardship Programs.  Hospital teams also participated in UHF/GNYHA-sponsored educational webinars on antibiotic stewardship implementation strategies and shared experiences with other hospitals to encourage peer-to-peer learning.

In the program’s second phase, UHF and GNYHA are continuing to support the hospital participants from the certificate program and are expanding the work to the outpatient setting, including offering a certificate program and additional educational programming focused specifically on the judicious use of antibiotics in the outpatient setting.

Project contact:  Deborah Halper