July 6, 2021
Stephen J. Thomas, MD, and Andrea Call, PharmD
The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) has named Crouse Health an Antimicrobial Stewardship Center of Excellence. Crouse joins an elite group of designated institutions across the United States that are dedicated to raising standards that define excellence in the practice and implementation of antimicrobial stewardship, which is a global public health priority as established by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. government.
“The IDSA certification affirms Crouse’s mission to provide the best in patient care and promote community health,” says Chief Operating Officer/Chief Medical Officer Seth Kronenberg, MD. “This significant quality achievement reflects the commitment our providers demonstrate toward helping both our patients and this national and global health challenge.”
Resistence Equals Loss of Drug Effectiveness
Antibiotics, antivirals and other antimicrobial medications have saved millions of lives worldwide, but these drugs are losing their effectiveness because of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines. AMR makes infections harder to treat and increases the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death.
Some of this is inevitable, but over-prescription and improper use of antimicrobials play a big role. Up to half of antibiotic use is unnecessary or inappropriate. For common bacterial infections, including urinary tract infections, sepsis, sexually transmitted infections, and some forms of diarrhea, high rates of resistance against antibiotics frequently used to treat these infections have been observed world-wide, indicating that we are running out of effective antibiotics, according to WHO. AMR also affects the treatment of mycobacterium tuberculosis, malaria and fungal infections.
Drug-resistant infections can strike anyone — young or old, healthy or sick. Each year more than 70,000 individuals die due to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) infections. Treating resistant infections costs the U.S. health care system an estimated $21 to $34 billion annually.
Collaborative Approach, Evidence-Based Guidelines
The mission of the IDSA is to improve the health of individuals, communities and society by promoting excellence in patient care, education, research, public health and prevention related to infectious diseases. The nonprofit organization developed the Antimicrobial Stewardship Centers of Excellence Program to promote excellence in optimizing antimicrobial use and combating antimicrobial resistance (AMR) by identifying institutions that effectively utilize evidence-based national guidelines.
“The Crouse stewardship team works in a highly collaborative manner to improve our institution’s use of antibiotics. I think we all make a difference in the quality of our patient care and it is encouraging to be recognized by the IDSA,” says Stephen J. Thomas, MD, Clinical Director, Crouse Antimicrobial Stewardship Program.
Skill and Dedication
To qualify for the Center of Excellence designation, Crouse met the following criteria: implementation of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Core Elements of Hospital Antibiotic Stewardship Programs (ASP); demonstration of the capabilities of an Electronic Health Record (“EHR”) and/or a Clinical Decision Support System as an integral component of its ASP; appropriate representation of infection disease physician leadership of the ASP; appropriate representation of a pharmacist experienced and trained in infectious diseases; the establishment of appropriate protocols for reporting on antibiotic use and resistance patterns to clinicians; and the verification of proven interventions that effectively optimize antimicrobial use.
“The IDSA certification for the Crouse Health ASP reflects dedication and skill among our healthcare professionals, hospital administration and staff to collaborate with the ASP and optimize antimicrobial therapy for CH patients while conserving use when possible,” says Andrea Call, PharmD, Clinical Pharmacy Coordinator, Crouse Antimicrobial Stewardship Program.