Objective: To assess antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) and strategies in California general acute care hospitals and to describe the effect of state legislation (Senate Bill 739) requiring hospitals to develop processes for evaluating the judicious use of antimicrobials.
Design: Web-based survey of general acute care hospitals.
Participants: All 422 general acute care hospital campuses in California were invited to participate.
Results: Responses from 223 (53%) of California's general acute care hospital campuses were included and were statistically representative of all acute care hospital campuses by region but not bed size or rurality. Community hospitals represented 73% of respondents. Fifty percent of hospitals described a current ASP and 30% reported planning an ASP; of these, 51% reported measuring outcomes. Twenty percent of hospitals reported no planned ASP or uncertainty whether an ASP existed and described barriers including staffing constraints (47%), lack of funding (42%), and lack of initiation of a formal proposal to start an ASP (42%). Of 135 responding hospitals, 22% reported that Senate Bill 739 influenced initiation of their ASP.
Conclusions: Although many studies have been published that describe hospital-specific ASPs, most have been described within academic centers, and there are limited assessments of ASP strategies across hospital systems. Our study verifies that many ASPs exist in California, particularly in community settings where a scarcity of antimicrobial restriction was thought to exist. Additionally, Senate Bill 739 appears to have played a role in initiating many hospital ASPs, which supports the adoption of similar legislation in other states and nationally.