Intermountain Healthcare study pursues to address antibiotic overprescription nationwide

August 30, 2022:- According to a news article by Emily Ashcraft, KSL.com, antibiotics can be beneficial for treating infections. Still, overuse and overprescription are quickly lowering their efficiency and requiring physicians to prescribe more potent antibiotics to treat the same ailments.

Dr. Eddie Stenehjem, medical director of antibiotic stewardship at Intermountain Healthcare, stated because Intermountain Healthcare appreciates antibiotic stewardship, having an effective cooperative system has become routine for them. Still, it is not a thing that most health systems across the country have.

A current study led by Intermountain analyzed antimicrobial stewardship agendas in 20 various health care systems. These programs help hospitals and techniques ensure that antibiotics are being used appropriately and attempt to reduce their use to prevent the development of opposition in bacteria.

Stenehjem expressed the purpose of the study was to raise awareness of what a triumphant antimicrobial stewardship program looks like, a measure towards better stewardship across the nation.

It is a starting issue to analyze the effectiveness of each model and find what works best to manage patient care for each organization while facilitating the development of bacteria invulnerable to antibiotics.

Antimicrobial stewardship plans

Intermountain Healthcare researchers discovered that antimicrobial stewardship programs alter especially throughout the study.

The finished study, which was published in June in a journal called Clinical Infectious Diseases, divided the programs into four categories:

  • Collaborative, which extended organically and are run by committees, don’t have a proper structure.
  • Centrally combined, which has a formal structure and a committee with responsibility. They often form organically but are utilized throughout a health care system.
  • They are centrally directed and have a formal system with leaders, responsibility, resources, and goals. Here, tools and technology differences are universal throughout the design, and participation is needed.
  • Collective, consultative network, which has leaders outside the community participate as consultants and sites receive aid from the broader company.

Intermountain Healthcare most nearly resembles the centrally led model.

Stenehjem communicated once stewardship practices were implemented at Intermountain Healthcare’s 39 acute care centers in Utah, there was a 50% decrease in antibiotic use for respiratory issues.

“That just pictures (the impact) a centrally led program with collaboration and partnership with the critical care service line … can have because we’re speaking about, you know, hundreds of thousands of antibiotic prescriptions not provided because of these practices,” Stenehjem communicated.

Whitney Buckel, antimicrobial stewardship pharmacist manager at Intermountain Healthcare, expressed she often gets questions about Intermountain’s antimicrobial stewardship agenda from other health systems. This study allows for a better characterization of their schedule to help them and the ability of Intermountain to understand from other programs.

As additional methods are more effective, models can be created for more health care systems.

“We want to drive stewardship ahead everywhere and this is a way to push the envelope and enhance antibiotic stewardship nationally,” Buckel declared.

In her role with the stewardship agenda, Buckel makes interventions for particular patients who have an infection and were prescribed antibiotics, presenting a better antibiotic for a specific culture, no antibiotics, or a quicker duration.

Buckel explained that they are not attempting to find the best system and recognize the excellent system for antimicrobial stewardship can vary based on the health care system or hospital. Nevertheless, more information about practical methods and techniques putting aids into making sure antibiotics are used properly can have an enormous impact on antibiotic efficacy.