Implementation and first-year results of an antimicrobial stewardship program at a community hospital

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The implementation of an antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) at a small community hospital affiliated with an accountable care organization (ACO) is described, including a report on first-year program outcomes.


With no infectious diseases (ID)–trained pharmacists on staff, a 155-bed hospital formed an ASP by restructuring its clinical pharmacy services. One full-time pharmacist led the program; nine full- or part-time pharmacists—none of whom had residency training—shared ASP responsibilities on a weekly rotation. Under a contract with a private medical group, an ID physician reviewed cases with ASP pharmacists for up to two hours each weekday. ASP interventions and tracking and reporting of outcomes were done primarily by pharmacists. Monitoring of pharmacy purchases in the first year of the program indicated an annualized 26% decrease in overall antimicrobial expenditures from prior-year spending, with a nearly 18% decrease in defined daily doses per 1000 patient-days. Total first-year direct cost savings attributed to the ASP were estimated at $145,353. Pharmacist-initiated conversions of patients from i.v. to oral antimicrobial therapy increased by 688% (p < 0.0001). Overall, the rate of ID physician acceptance of ASP-recommended interventions (mainly streamlining of therapy, limiting the duration of therapy to a specific stop date, and discontinuation of nonindicated drugs) was 74%.


An ASP was implemented at a small ACO-affiliated community hospital by a team of pharmacists without specialized ID training. During the first year of the program, antimicrobial expenditures were reduced and there was a significant increase in pharmacist-initiated i.v.-to-oral conversions.

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