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.
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