Emphasis on antimicrobial stewardship becomes a national focus

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

November 12, 2014

When the President speaks, people tend to listen. Thus, it shouldn't be a surprise that following an executive order from the White House, antimicrobial stewardship has received more attention in recent months.

On September 18, President Obama signed an executive order requiring federal departments and agencies to take action to combat the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In addition, the White House released its National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, and the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) released a report titled Combating Antibiotic Resistance.

According to a release from the White House, the executive order requires federal agencies and departments to implement the accompanying directives outline in the National Strategy report and review the PCAST report on antibiotic resistance. One of the key elements of the executive order includes a provision to improve antibiotic stewardship across the country.

The executive order specifically directs the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Defense, and Veterans Affairs to review existing regulations related to antibiotic stewardship programs in healthcare organizations, and develop new regulations to improve those programs. These federal agencies are also required to define, communicate, and implement stewardship programs in their own healthcare facilities, including office-based practices, outpatient settings, emergency departments, and institutional and long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, pharmacies, and correctional facilities.

This is an excerpt from an article in Patient Safety Monitor Journal.

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