Substantial concern regarding the ever-worsening crisis of antibiotic resistance has been raised by the World Health Organization, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, European Medicines Agency, Institute of Medicine, World Economic Forum, and the US Presidential Advisory Council on Science and Technology. The question is no longer whether to act, but how.
Antibiotic stewardship is the term used to describe efforts to optimize selection of antibiotic therapy. Formal antibiotic stewardship programs are essential to help society address antimicrobial resistance by reducing the estimated more than 50% of antibiotic use that is unnecessary or inappropriate.1 The US government has recently emphasized the need for implementation of antibiotic stewardship programs at all hospitals.2 To be effective, antibiotic stewardship programs must incorporate best practices, which include dedicating sufficient resources to the program, appointing a single leader to be accountable for performance, having appropriate antibiotic expertise, implementing action plans, monitoring bacterial resistance, reporting antibiotic usage to staff, and providing education.3
Spellberg B, Srinivasan A, Chambers HF. New Societal Approaches to Empowering Antibiotic Stewardship. JAMA. 2016;315(12):1229-1230. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.1346