A Multidisciplinary Approach to Incorporate Bedside Nurses into Antimicrobial Stewardship and Infection Prevention

Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2019 Sep;45(9):600-605. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjq.2019.03.003. Epub 2019 Apr 25.


Background: Antimicrobial stewardship programs exist to promote appropriate antimicrobial use. The Joint Commission has reported that although many US hospitals have implemented basic components of antimicrobial stewardship programs, there now exists a need for innovative, multidisciplinary approaches, including involving frontline clinicians such as bedside nurses.

Methods: A retrospective evaluation of bedside nurse-driven antimicrobial stewardship and infection prevention rounds was conducted on a 31-bed telemetry unit of a community regional medical center. Rounds were managed by a nurse coordinator and attended by an infectious diseases pharmacist, an infection preventionist, and a nurse practitioner. Primary outcome measures were antimicrobial and acid suppressant medication and invasive catheter use.

Results: In the 12-month intervention period the nurse-driven rounds team reviewed of a total of 472 antimicrobial medication, 480 acid suppressant medication, 321 urinary catheter, and 61 central venous catheter therapies over 867 total patient encounters. Compared with the 12-month preintervention period, significant reductions in unit antimicrobial use (791.2 vs. 697.1 days of therapy per 1,000 patient-days; p = 0.03), acid suppressant medication use (708.1 vs. 372.4 days of therapy per 1,000 patient-days; p = 0.0001), and urinary catheter use (0.3 vs. 0.2 catheter-days per patient-day; p = 0.002) were observed.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates successful engagement of bedside nurses in antimicrobial stewardship and infection prevention activities and a measurable impact on meaningful outcomes. More studies of strategies to integrate bedside nurses in antimicrobial stewardship are needed.

MeSH terms

  • Antacids / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antimicrobial Stewardship / organization & administration*
  • Catheter-Related Infections / prevention & control*
  • Catheters*
  • Drug Utilization
  • Hospital Administration*
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Nurse's Role*
  • Patient Care Team
  • Pharmacists / organization & administration
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States


  • Antacids
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents