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Northwell Health Embraces Antimicrobial Stewardship

Antimicrobial resistance is increasing, while antimicrobial drug development is slowing; this is a serious concern for hospitals as antimicrobial resistance is linked to increased mortality, toxicity, unintended drug interactions, C. difficile infection, prolonged lengths of stay, and increased healthcare costs. To reduce antimicrobial resistance, Northwell Health commenced an organization-wide antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP).

Led by a multidisciplinary committee of hospital staff, Northwell’s ASP used a variety of methods to implement change, including Plan, Do, Study Act (PDSA), Lean, gap analysis, case findings, prevalence studies, surveys/questionnaires, proactive risk assessments, mortality review, root cause analysis, mock regulatory agency surveys, and concurrent/retrospective medical record review. From their findings, the committee developed registered nurse competencies, financial reports for antimicrobial use, published monthly performance reports, staff surveys, and patient education tools.

After implementation, total antibiotic days decreased by 9,318, while days for the targeted five high-use, high-cost antibiotics decreased by 19,231. Pharmacy interventions entered into Northwell’s pharmacy database increased from 9,914 to 11,061. The C. difficile standardized infection ratio decreased by 18.52% across nine acute care and one children’s hospital.

For more information on Northwell Health’s HANYS Pinnacle Award-winning program, watch HANYS’ video highlighting their achievements.

Questions about the program? Contact Michelle Pinto, Director, Media Relations, Northwell Health, at (516) 465-2649 or at mpinto@northwell.edu.