Two educational sessions that took place on Sunday at the 2019 ASHP Midyear Meeting & Exhibition assessed the critical mission of ensuring that hospital-acquired infection rates remain as low as possible, including a tutorial on how to prepare new pharmacists for vital antimicrobial leadership roles and surveying technologies to quickly identify hospital infections.

In a session titled “Young Leaders, Big Responsibilities: Preparing New Practitioners for Antimicrobial Stewardship,” Brandon Hill, PharmD, BCPS, clinical pharmacist–infectious diseases/antimicrobial stewardship, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia, and Erin McCreary, PharmD, BCIDP, BCPS, infectious diseases/antimicrobial stewardship clinical pharmacist, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, described the foundational characteristics of an antimicrobial stewardship program.

To ensure that the programs operate at an optimal level, Drs. Hill and McCreary delineated the role of pharmacist leaders, identifying methods that new practitioners can use to design and implement antimicrobial-stewardship initiatives. In addition, they taught ASHP Midyear Meeting attendees how to apply effective communication strategies to gain success with antimicrobial-stewardship initiatives.

To achieve antimicrobial stewardship success, Drs. Hill and McCreary recommended forming relationships with key stakeholders, leveraging their support for resources. They also recommended communicating with all members of the stewardship program and setting goals and measuring successes and failures. Finally, the session presenters said to utilize resources and colleagues to support day-to-day activities while increasing the program’s outreach, emphasizing that everyone can optimize antimicrobial use and improve patient outcomes.

In another Sunday session, titled “Rapid Diagnostic Technologies and Antimicrobial Stewardship: Better Together,” Moderator Brandon Hill and Presenter Katherine Lusardi, PharmD, BCIDP, BCPS-AQ ID, clinical pharmacy specialist, ID & antimicrobial stewardship, UAMS Medical Center, Little Rock, Arkansas, evaluated the currently available rapid diagnostic technologies  to enhance antimicrobial stewardship. The presenters also recommended the rapid diagnostic technology (RDT) investments that are most appropriate and beneficial for a stewardship program. To evaluate and implement effective RDTs, Drs. Hill and Lusardi described to attendees a multidisciplinary algorithm designed for this purpose.

In conjunction with antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) guidance, RDTs, the presenters said, improve patient outcomes and are supported by the literature and professional organizations. Drs. Hill and Lusardi recommended preparing a detailed proposal, including predicted changes in outcomes of interest (financial, clinical, preservation of provider time, etc.). In addition, they urged the providing of regular updates on the impact of the ASP and RDTs via predetermined tracking and reporting methods. Finally, they recommended developing a structured algorithm for implementing RDT and ASP communications and interventions. 

« Click here to return to ASHP Conference Connect.