Interdisciplinary Teamwork Yields Improved Antibiotic Stewardship

Mentorship, Collaboration Contribute to Faster Administration

Article ID: 666911

Released: 22-Dec-2016 9:30 AM EST

Source Newsroom: ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists)

Newswise — BETHESDA, Md. — A hospital engaged in a quality improvement program launched by ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists) has identified weaknesses in existing antibiotic stewardship initiatives and implemented workflow changes that resulted in faster antibiotic administration. St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way, Wash., was recently featured in ASHP’s InterSections, which highlights the hospital’s team approach to improving infection treatment with IV antibiotics.

Antibiotic stewardship is a nationwide healthcare priority, and hospitals are working to reduce antibiotic resistance and improve appropriate prescribing. Launched in 2013, the ASHP MENTORED QUALITY IMPROVEMENT IMPACT PROGRAMSM (MQIIP) is designed to accelerate the success of antibiotic stewardship programs (ASPs). MQIIP includes personalized mentoring by a team of pharmacist-physician experts to evaluate a hospital’s ASP and provide feedback for improvement. Six healthcare organizations have participated in the MQIIP.

According to MQIIP mentor Debra Goff, Pharm.D., FCCP, Associate Professor in the College of Pharmacy at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, program participants that demonstrated the most improvement in antibiotic stewardship had “the support and engagement of hospital administration, passionate physician-pharmacist team leaders who believed they could make a difference, and interdisciplinary team members who were open-minded and willing to be mentored.”

Serena Von Ruden, Pharm.D., R.N., Clinical Pharmacist at St. Francis Hospital, a 134-bed nonprofit community hospital, began working with MQIIP mentors in May 2014. At that time, it took 15 minutes to 11 hours to administer the first dose of IV antibiotics after orders had been placed.

With the help of MQIIP mentors Dr. Goff and George Karam, M.D., Dr. Von Ruden and her colleagues identified several causes of the problem of delayed first-dose IV antibiotic administration and developed a list of solutions. “The process changes that we implemented really required a paradigm shift for all of us, in that all providers and pharmacists had to consider and treat first doses of IV antibiotics as STAT orders,” said Dr. Von Ruden.

After the recommendations from the mentorship were implemented, the proportion of patients who received antibiotics in a timely manner — defined as within 1 hour of order entry for sepsis patients and within 2 hours for nonseptic patients — rose from approximately 67% to 83%. In the ICU, the percentage of patients who received antibiotics in a timely manner rose from 62% to 91%.

To view virtual posters detailing MQIIP projects from six sites and to hear interviews with the interprofessional teams, visit Both continuing pharmacy education and continuing medical education credits are available.

About ASHPASHP represents pharmacists who serve as patient care providers in acute and ambulatory settings. The organization’s more than 43,000 members include pharmacists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians. For over 70 years, ASHP has been at the forefront of efforts to improve medication use and enhance patient safety. For more information about the wide array of ASHP activities and the many ways in which pharmacists advance healthcare, visit ASHP’s website,, or its consumer website,

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