Antimicrobial stewardship is a coordinated program that promotes the appropriate use of antimicrobials (including antibiotics), improves patient outcomes, reduces microbial resistance, and decreases the spread of infections caused by multidrug-resistant organisms.
Misuse and overuse of antimicrobials is one of the world’s most pressing public health problems. Infectious organisms adapt to the antimicrobials designed to kill them, making the drugs ineffective. People infected with antimicrobial-resistant organisms are more likely to have longer, more expensive hospital stays, and may be more likely to die as a result of an infection. This page contains antimicrobial stewardship resources and education for both healthcare professionals and consumers.
The following links are APIC resources on antimicrobial stewardship for healthcare professionals.
Statements and position papers
- NEW! Antimicrobial stewardship and infection prevention - Leveraging the synergy: A position paper update, April 2018
- APIC statement in support of the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, March 27, 2015
- Antimicrobial stewardship: A collaborative partnership between infection preventionists and health care epidemiologists—APIC and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, March 2012
Implementation guides and tools
- Guide to Preventing Clostridium difficile Infections (2013)—Implementation Guide
- Guide to the Elimination of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Transmission in Hospital Settings, 2nd Edition (2010)—Implementation Guide
- Guide to the Elimination of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in the Long-Term Care Facility (2009)—Implementation Guide
- Guide to the Elimination of Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii Transmission in Healthcare Settings (2010)—Implementation Guide
- APIC Text (subscription required)
Education & training
APIC offers a comprehensive collection of clinical education and professional development programs. The following resources are educational opportunities related to antimicrobial stewardship.
Visit the Education & Certification page for more educational opportunities.
- Antimicrobial Stewardship: What the Infection Preventionist Needs to Know—APIC Webinar
- Global perspective on Clostridium difficile: With specific focus on Dutch infection prevention measures—APIC Webinar
- From Tragedy to Triumph to Trepidation: Antibiotics at Age 70—APIC Webinar
- Self-Disinfecting Surfaces: Use of Antimicrobial Impregnated Surfaces and Using Persistent Antimicrobials in the Patient Environment—APIC Webinar
- Visit the APIC 2016 Annual Conference website to search for education on antimicrobial resistance
- Access the APIC 2015 Conference Proceedings for sessions on antimicrobial resistance
APIC has participated in various advocacy activities related to antimicrobial stewardship.
- Joined allied organizations united in support of antibiotic stewardship as a condition of participation
- Commented to federal agencies on the judicious use of antibiotics in food-producing animals
- Letter to United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
- Letter to U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Guidance for Industry #209
- Letter to U.S. Food and Drug Administration on cephalosporin drugs
- Commented to federal agencies on the Veterinary Feed Directive to encourage proper oversight of antibiotic use in animals
- APIC comments on the 2014 U.S. Food and Drug Administration draft Veterinary Feed Directive
- APIC comments on the 2012 U.S. Food and Drug Administration draft Veterinary Feed Directive
- Led a diverse coalition of organizations in support of the National Healthcare Safety Network for Fiscal Year 2016, which through the Antibiotic Use and Resistance (AUR) module will be able to provide real time data on antibiotic use and trends
- Led a coalition of organizations in support of the National Healthcare Safety Network for Fiscal Year 2015
- Submitted testimony to Congress in support of CDC programs aimed at fighting antibiotic resistance, including NHSN, the Advanced Molecular Detection (AMD) program, and the Detect and Protect Against Antibiotic Resistance Initiative
- Participated in coalition letters to President, and/or President’s Advisors on antibiotic use need for antibiotic stewardship in animals
- Joined coalition letter to the Office of Management and Budget to fund PCAST recommendations, which include stewardship
Prevention Strategist articles
The following links include articles on antimicrobial stewardship from APIC’s Prevention Strategist magazine.
- Antimicrobial stewardship: A collaborative partnership between infection preventionists and health care epidemiologists
- Vital Signs: Protect Patients from Antibiotic Resistance, March 2016—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- CDC's Antibiotic Resistance Patient Safety Atlas—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Presidential Proclamation—Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, 2015—The White House
- National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, March 2015—The White House
- Joint Statement on Antibiotic Resistance from 25 National Health Organizations and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—The Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy
- Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2013 (report)—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Transatlantic taskforce on antimicrobial resistance—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Antimicrobial Stewardship Toolkit—American Hospital Association
- Toolkit for reduction of Clostridium difficile through antimicrobial stewardship—Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
- "The urgent need for nurse practitioners to lead antimicrobial stewardship in ambulatory health care,"—Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners
- Get Smart: Know when Antibiotics Work—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Download the new CDC Get Smart factsheets:
- Medscape Special Report: Antimicrobial resistance - Time for change—Medscape (login required)
- Nursing home antimicrobial stewardship guide -- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
The following links are APIC and external resources on antimicrobial stewardship and infection prevention for consumers.
- The "ABC's of Antibiotics" infographic—Consumer flier
- What is antimicrobial stewardship?—Monthly alert for consumers
- Antibiotic use—Monthly alert for consumers
- Get smart about antibiotics...and antibiotic resistance!—Monthly alert for consumers
- Antibiotics – Preserving them for the future—Monthly alert for consumers
- Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Download the new CDC Get Smart factsheets:
- Antibiotics aren’t always the answer (for parents)
- Resistance anywhere is resistance everywhere
- Antibiotic resistance: The global threat
- Antibiotic / Antimicrobial Resistance—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Presidential Proclamation -- Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, 2015—The White House