Photo: The St. Anthony Antibiotic Stewardship Team includes (from left): Dave Nystrom, D.O.; Randi Boell, RN, Quality Management Professional; Karen Timm, RN, BSN, Vice President-Patient Services; Erin Monthei, BC, PS, Pharmacy Director; Bailee Schleisman, RN, Infection Preventionist; Stephanie Neumayer, RN, Clinical Supervisor; and Jedd Hagen, M.D. Not pictured: Barb Toohey, RN, BSN, MSHSA, Director of Quality Assurance.
St. Anthony Regional Hospital staff members have recently completed a year-long study to learn more about how to improve the use of antibiotics for patients. At the completion of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and Johns Hopkins Medicine Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality-sponsored program, an Antibiotic Stewardship Team was formed at St. Anthony. This group has developed and implemented research-based guidelines that are designed to improve the use of antibiotics across acute care. Frequent and inappropriate use of antibiotics can cause bacteria and other microbes to evolve, which can make them ineffective. This is called bacterial or antibiotic resistance and requires higher doses or stronger medicines. Because of overuse, certain bacteria have become resistant to even the most powerful antibiotics available today. “Antibiotics are a precious resource and can be critical for improving outcomes of patients with serious infections,” says Dr. Jedd Hagen with West Central Pathology at St. Anthony. “Antibiotics need to be available and effective for future generations, and that is only possible if antibiotics are prescribed carefully.” The stewardship team’s goals are to promote safe and appropriate antibiotic use, enhance teamwork and communication around diagnosis and treatment of infections and antibiotic prescribing, and ultimately, patient safety. After working with medical providers to monitor use and trends, they will also be monitoring antibiotic resistant organisms and developing plans for treatment.