Antibiotic Stewardship Programs in U.S. Acute Care Hospitals: Findings From the 2014 National Healthcare Safety Network Annual Hospital Survey

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Background. The National Action Plan to Combat Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria calls for all US hospitals to improve antibiotic prescribing as a key prevention strategy for resistance and Clostridium difficile. Antibiotic stewardship programs (ASPs) will be important in this effort but implementation is not well understood.

Methods. We analyzed the 2014 National Healthcare Safety Network Annual Hospital Survey to describe ASPs in US acute care hospitals as defined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Core Elements for Hospital ASPs. Univariate analyses were used to assess stewardship infrastructure and practices by facility characteristics and a multivariate model determined factors associated with meeting all ASP core elements.

Results. Among 4184 US hospitals, 39% reported having an ASP that met all 7 core elements. Although hospitals with greater than 200 beds (59%) were more likely to have ASPs, 1 in 4 (25%) of hospitals with less than 50 beds reported achieving all 7 CDC-defined core elements of a comprehensive ASP. The percent of hospitals in each state that reported all seven elements ranged from 7% to 58%. In the multivariate model, written support (adjusted relative risk [RR] 7.2 [95% confidence interval [CI], 6.2–8.4]; P < .0001) or salary support (adjusted RR 1.5 [95% CI, 1.4–1.6]; P < .0001) were significantly associated with having a comprehensive ASP.

Conclusions. Our findings show that ASP implementation varies across the United States and provide a baseline to monitor progress toward national goals. Comprehensive ASPs can be established in facilities of any size and hospital leadership support for antibiotic stewardship appears to drive the establishment of ASPs.

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