With antibiotic resistance responsible for approximately 35,000 deaths annually in the U.S. alone, judicious and appropriate prescribing and use of antimicrobials is imperative. Responsible patient use is a component – completing a course of prescribed antibiotics and not taking an antibiotic for a viral infection, for example, are essential. Hospitals, too, have a significant role. Estimates are that 20 to 50 percent of all antibiotics prescribed in acute care hospitals is unnecessary or inappropriate. Prescribing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that hospital antibiotic prescribing is not supported in:

  • 79% of patients with community-acquired pneumonia
  • 77% of patients with urinary tract infections
  • 47% of patients prescribed fluroquinolone treatment
  • 27% of patients prescribed intravenous vancomycin antibiotic.

Since 2019, hospitals have been required to have antibiotic stewardship programs as a condition of Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, and Joint Commission accreditation standards include one for antimicrobial stewardship. For hospitals that do not have infectious disease specialists, these programs may be led by hospitalists or pharmacists, some of whom may have training in infectious disease but some of whom may not.

With an SOC Telemed antibiotic stewardship program, hospitals of all sizes can elevate the quality of their programs by adding an infectious disease specialist to the team responsible for administering the stewardship program. Our ID specialists are board-certified and have decades of experience managing complex viral, fungal, and bacterial infections and working with pharmacists and other physicians on appropriate medication use.

The value comes in reducing unnecessary antibiotic use and closer adherence to evidence-based medicine so that patient care is optimized and hospitals have the tools they need to be a significant lever in combatting antimicrobial resistance.

Learn more about SOC Telemed’s infectious disease specialist-led antibiotic stewardship programs here.

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