AHRQ Toolkit Advocates Antimicrobial Stewardship to Combat C. difficile
January 4, 2013 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance
An antimicrobial stewardship program, defined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) as "a systematic approach to developing coordinated interventions to reduce overuse and inappropriate selection of antibiotics and to achieve optimal outcomes for patients in cost-efficient ways," is the core component of a new AHRQ toolkit designed to reduce Clostridium difficile infection. The toolkit suggests that an antimicrobial stewardship initiative will help reduce C. difficileresistance, which is associated with inappropriate antibiotic use. The AHRQ toolkit is designed to complement the antimicrobial stewardship toolkit created by the Greater New York Hospital Association and United Hospital Fund for the New York State Department of Health. The AHRQ toolkit is intended to help organizations answer four key questions: are we ready for an antimicrobial stewardship program, how do we identify the interventions that will help us, how do we measure outcomes, and how do we maintain momentum for stewardship over the long term.