Antibiotics are a critical treatment and public health tool. However, widespread use of antibiotics has resulted in the development of antibiotic resistance, and drug choices for the treatment of bacterial infections are becoming increasingly limited and expensive. Antibiotic resistance is a serious threat to patient safety; therefore, we need strong antibiotic stewardship leadership and practices to ensure appropriate antibiotic use and improve patient outcomes.
The importance of antibiotic stewardship has recently been highlighted at a national level both in a proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and in prepublication requirements by the Joint Commission. To promote the importance of stewardship state-wide, Minnesota held its first One Health Antibiotic Stewardship State Summit in January 2016. Based on this meeting, the Minnesota One Health Antibiotic Stewardship Collaborative recently announced the launch of a five-year antibiotic stewardship strategic plan aimed at raising awareness and changing behaviors to preserve antibiotics and treat infections effectively.
Leadership Support is Essential
CHAIN is committed to eliminating preventable healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in Minnesota. Reducing antibiotic resistance is essential to preventing and treating HAIs, and CHAIN fully endorses the One Health collaborative. Leadership support is recognized throughout the One Health strategic plan and by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as one of the core elements of antibiotic stewardship, and leadership engagement and support aligns with our CHAIN priorities and work. In particular, in 2014 the CDC found that facilities with written support from leadership to improve antibiotic use were more than seven times more likely to have a comprehensive stewardship program. In Minnesota, only 42 percent of acute care hospitals had written support from leadership in 2014, compared to 75 percent nationally.
CHAIN and One Health will only be successful through collaboration with partners. We are asking you to demonstrate your commitment to this important issue by:
Identifying the appointed leader responsible for antibiotic stewardship at your facility, as well as indicating your support as hospital leadership.
Staying up-to-date by reviewing resources and signing up to receive state antibiotic stewardship email updates. Email updates will include new guidance, a future health care facility honor roll program, and upcoming events.
Thank you for your collaboration in this important area. If you have questions about One Health, please contact the Minnesota Department of Health.