HealthFebruary 04, 2016

Wolters Kluwer helps hospitals improve antimicrobial stewardship programs with complimentary gap analysis

The Health division of Wolters Kluwer, a leading global provider of information and point of care solutions for the healthcare industry, announced today the release of a complimentary Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) Gap Analysis to help healthcare organizations evaluate and establish strategies for enhancing AMS programs in response to the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria. The tool helps teams identify the most appropriate starting point and implementation option for upgrading programs based on past accomplishments.

Released in March 2015, the National Action Plan is a roadmap for slowing the emergence of resistant bacteria and preventing the spread of resistant infection through the appropriate use of vaccines, implementation of healthcare policies and antibiotic stewardship programs that improve care outcomes. Noting that prevention of resistance requires rapid detection and control of outbreaks at the hospital, community and regional levels, the plan also calls upon facilities to take action to minimize development of bacterial resistance by ensuring that each patient receives the right antibiotic at the right time and dose for the right duration.

Designed to help hospitals align Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs with national goals, the AMS Gap Analysis consists of a brief survey about a facility’s current program. Responses are then compared to standards established by national organizations like the Infectious Diseases Society of America and Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. Results establish the program’s overall maturity—infancy, intermediate or robust—and identify the most appropriate steps for enhancing performance.

For example, infancy stage programs will often benefit from expanding the ASP committee to include a broader array of disciplines, and from automating time-consuming paper records and manually created spreadsheets. Electronic systems can speed identification of patients who are at risk for infection or who may be receiving inappropriate antibiotics, and enable an increase in the frequency and specificity of the facility’s antibiogram.

Programs at the intermediate stage may be ready to implement new protocols for de-escalation, duplicative antibiotic review, mandatory 48-hour antibiotic stops without cultures that support a bacterial infection, and IV-to-PO conversion. Next steps might include documentation of all interventions and acceptance rates by provider or use of an electronic surveillance system to facilitate intervention reporting. Further, the addition of clinical decision support can help align antibiotic prescribing with established protocols for the narrowest agent capable of treating the indicated infection and help identify the proper dose and duration.

Even high-performing Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs can be enhanced, for example by encouraging professionals to obtain certification in antimicrobial stewardship or optimizing electronic surveillance systems for intervention reporting by pharmacists and providers. Depending on which components have already been implemented, it may also be appropriate to add a full-time infectious disease specialist.

The brief complimentary survey, which provides results upon completion, is available at Antimicrobial Stewardship Gap Analysis Survey.

About Wolters Kluwer

Wolters Kluwer (WKL) is a global leader in professional information, software solutions, and services for the health, tax & accounting, governance, risk & compliance, and legal & regulatory sectors. We help our customers make critical decisions every day by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with specialized technology and services.