Development and application of an objective staffing calculator for antimicrobial stewardship programs in the Veterans Health Administration

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The development and validation of a staffing calculator and its use in creating staffing guidance for antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) in Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities are described.


The Tools and Resources Work Group of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Task Force and PBM Clinical Pharmacy Practice Office of the Department of Veterans Affairs developed, tested, and validated a staffing calculator to track patient care and ASP management activities needed to maintain a comprehensive ASP. Time spent on activities was based on time-in-motion tracking studies and input from experienced antimicrobial stewards. The staffing calculator was validated across VHA facilities of varying sizes and complexities to determine the number of needed clinical pharmacist full-time equivalents (FTEs) to implement and maintain ASPs per 100 occupied beds.


A total of 12 facilities completed the staffing calculator for 1 calendar week. The median number of occupied beds was 226. Most facilities had at least 100 occupied beds, and 6 of the 12 were considered high complexity facilities. The median calculated FTE personnel requirement was 2.62, or 1.01 per 100 occupied beds. The majority of FTE time (70%) was spent on patient care activities and 30% on program management activities, including infectious diseases or ASP rounds. The final recommendations indicated that in order to implement and manage a robust ASP, a pharmacist FTE investment of 1.0 per 100 occupied beds would be needed.


A staffing calculator to account for the time needed to implement ASP activities and provide staffing guidance across a large health-care system was validated.

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