Newswise — ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michigan Medicine is among the first recipients to receive the Antimicrobial Stewardship Centers of Excellence designation from the Infectious Diseases Society of America.(link is external)

The designation recognizes institutions that achieve standards established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for antimicrobial stewardship programs led by infectious diseases physicians and infectious diseases-trained pharmacists.

“IDSA is committed to infectious diseases-led antimicrobial stewardship programs as an essential component in the fight against antimicrobial resistance that leads to more than 23,000 deaths per year and over $20 billion in unnecessary health costs,” says Paul Auwaerter, M.D., president of IDSA. “The IDSA Antimicrobial Stewardship Centers of Excellence program recognizes institutions who lead in establishing highly effective antimicrobial stewardship programs that help clinicians give their patients optimal anti-infective therapies.”

The criteria for the designation was developed by a workgroup of infectious diseases physicians and infectious diseases-trained pharmacists and builds upon the criteria developed in the CDC’s Core Elements of Hospital Antibiotic Stewardship Programs(link is external)for hospitals, nursing homes and clinics.

The CDC core elements for antibiotic stewardship include seven major areas:

  • leadership commitment
  • accountability
  • expertise
  • action
  • tracking
  • reporting
  • education

“Our stewardship program goal is to empower and engage our providers to choose and prescribe the right antibiotic at the right dose and for the right duration,” says Tejal Gandhi, M.D., associate professor of infectious diseases and physician co-lead of Michigan Medicine’s Infectious Diseases and Antimicrobial Stewardship program. “Antimicrobial stewardship programs can improve patient care, help decrease antibiotic resistance and minimize adverse events for patients.”

Michigan Medicine’s Antimicrobial Stewardship program is a multidisciplinary effort and collaboration between infectious diseases physicians and pharmacists.

“This designation is a nice way to recognize the efforts and dedication our physicians and pharmacists have put in to improve patient outcomes,” says Jerod Nagel, PharmD(link is external), pharmacist co-lead of Michigan Medicine’s Infectious Diseases and Antimicrobial Stewardship program. “Our ability in the past 5 to 10 years to use emerging technologies in this space and develop enhanced work flows have allowed us to ensure patients are being treated appropriately and in a timely manner, ultimately improving patient outcomes.”

Nagel and Gandhi explain that Michigan Medicine’s stewardship program has benefits for patients.

“If we can detect pathogens sooner, we can change a patient’s therapies based on that pathogen and the antibiotic resistance pattern we are seeing,” Nagel says. “From a patient perspective, that process is improving their outcome and helping them get better sooner.”

Gandhi agrees, “The program also wants to educate patients about antibiotic use. Patients should feel comfortable discussing with their provider as to why they need an antibiotic and for how long. It’s starting that conversation between provider and patient, not to challenge, but as a way for both parties to acknowledge the benefits of antibiotic treatment and the possible adverse effects from antibiotic use.”

The Michigan Medicine Antibiotic Stewardship program is led by Tejal Gandhi, M.D., and Jerod Nagel, PharmD. Other leadership team physician members include Lindsay Petty, M.D., Allison Tribble M.D., and Carol Chenoweth, M.D. Other leadership team pharmacist members include Greg Eschenauer, PharmD, Twisha Patel, PharmD, Kristin Klein, PharmD, and Nick Dillman, PharmD.