Pharmacy OneSource Blog

Antimicrobial Stewardship - Success Depends on Team Approach

Posted on 07/15/15

Clinical team

The most effective antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) involve a multidisciplinary team led by a physician and pharmacist that both have infectious diseases training and include infection preventionists, epidemiologists, microbiologists and data management specialists.1 Getting the right combination of members and staying focused on the goals of antimicrobial stewardship have never been more important for hospitals, particularly in light of President Obama’s release of the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.2

To help those involved in antimicrobial stewardship, Debra Goff, PharmD, FCCP, will lead a webinar on July 22 to discuss how hospitals and other healthcare facilities can get the right team members on board and prepare to meet the goals established in the National Action Plan. Her presentation will discuss the skill set each team member brings to the ASP and how they can best work together, drawing on real-world examples from an academic medical center.

The National Action Plan has two components that directly impact hospitals and will likely change how many healthcare organizations address the rise of multidrug resistant organisms (MDROs) and structure their antimicrobial stewardship programs. The two broad goals established by the National Action Plan of particular interest to healthcare facilities are:

  1. Slow the emergence of resistant bacteria and prevent the spread of resistant infections and

  2. Strengthen National One-Health Surveillance efforts to combat resistance.

For hospitals that have yet to launch a comprehensive ASP, the National Action Plan’s deadlines and goals make clear that the time to delay has passed. In five years, it calls for the establishment of antimicrobial stewardship programs in all acute care hospitals and improved antimicrobial stewardship across all healthcare settings. In addition, the inappropriate use of antibiotics should be reduced by 20% in all inpatient settings and by 50% in outpatient environments by 2020. The Plan also anticipates the establishment of Antibiotic Prevention Programs in all 50 states, which will be charged with monitoring regionally important multidrug resistant organisms and providing feedback and technical assistance to healthcare facilities.

Goff is an Infectious Diseases Specialist and Clinical Associate Professor in the College of Pharmacy at the Ohio State University (OSU) Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, OH. She is a founding member of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program (ASP), past program director of the PGY2 Infectious Diseases Residency and Director of Clinical Research for the Department of Pharmacy at OSU. She is a faculty member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) National Antimicrobial Stewardship mentoring program and a faculty member and international advisor to the Federation of Infectious Diseases Society of South Africa (FIDSSA). In 2013, she implemented a collaborative pharmacist mentoring program between FIDSSA and OSU. She also is involved in the national research initiative with Making a Difference in Infectious Diseases (MAD-ID).  Her research interests include application of rapid diagnostic tests, antimicrobial resistance, innovative ways to educate using technology, and strategies to improve patient outcomes.

To View This Webinar, Click Here 

What steps does your hospital plan to take to meet the goals of the National Action Plan? Who serves on your facility’s antimicrobial stewardship team? 

  1. Dellit, et al. Clinical Infectious Diseases 2007; 44:159–77.

  2. The White House. National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. March 2015.


Topics: Antimicrobial Stewardship

About the Author

Tim McMenamin has more than 30 years of experience in the Hospital Information Technology (HIT) industry and has been an active member of HIMSS, ASHP, HFMA and other healthcare communities for many years. Leveraging emerging technologies to deliver clinical content to the point-of-care has been an area of special interest and research.