Since the new nursing home regulations were published, we’ve been working hard to review and update our systems to meet the new elements of the regulations. One thing we need to develop is an antibiotic stewardship program. We’ve done a lot of urine cultures in the past, so we’ve laid some work on implementing criteria for defining urinary tract infection and when to do a culture. That’s about as far as we’ve got.
Today, I organized a meeting with our medical director, consultant pharmacist, infection preventionist, and consultant pharmacist. We decided to use the CDC’s Core Elements of Antibiotic Stewardship for Nursing Homes as our guide to develop a program that includes antibiotic use protocols and a system to monitor antibiotic use. We’ve scheduled a meeting every month for two hours to tackle these core elements:
- Leadership Commitment/Accountability
- Drug Expertise/Action
The group seems pretty nervous about this work. We have a lot to learn. I hope working on just a few elements at a time will help.