Deciding which initiatives to implement with an antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) and when to implement them can be challenging. If an initiative is implemented before the program is ready, or if the team chooses an initiative that is not feasible, the ASP could struggle to gain traction.
Using a checklist to determine the program’s readiness for stewardship, and ranking the initiatives by feasibility and value can help guide the ASP in the right direction.
A readiness checklist provide insight into missing components of the current ASP. The checklist should include:
- Inventory of existing resources, current policies and guidelines related to stewardship, technology tools available, and useable data
- A gap analysis to compare the current program with best practice standards
- Plan of which initiatives to begin implementation and the best way to implement them
To prioritize initiatives, ASPs should use a ranking grid that measures feasibility of implementation and value of the initiative to the program. Plotting these initiatives in a comparative grid can give the team insight into which initiatives can be tackled based on existing resources, and which initiatives will need further time, resources and tools before starting.
A well-established ASP will require periodic analysis to determine other areas for improvement. Taking the time to perform a readiness assessment and create a plan of prioritized implementation can help the ASP set goals and optimize the program for success.
Antimicrobial stewardship teams can start with our checklist to report and track outcomes to understand how the program is currently tracking antibiotic use and outcomes. Teams can also take our gap analysis to see where the program performs against IDSA and SHEA standards for antimicrobial stewardship.
Has your ASP completed a readiness checklist or a prioritized grid? How do you decide which initiatives to embark upon?