Effects of a Collaborative, Community Hospital Network for Antimicrobial Stewardship Program Implementation

Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Nov 2;73(9):1656-1663. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciab356.


Background: Individual hospitals may lack expertise, data resources, and educational tools to support antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASP).

Methods: We established a collaborative, consultative network focused on hospital ASP implementation. Services included on-site expert consultation, shared database for routine feedback and benchmarking, and educational programs. We performed a retrospective, longitudinal analysis of antimicrobial use (AU) in 17 hospitals that participated for at least 36 months during 2013-2018. ASP practice was assessed using structured interviews. Segmented regression estimated change in facility-wide AU after a 1-year assessment, planning, and intervention initiation period. Year 1 AU trend (1-12 months) and AU trend following the first year (13-42 months) were compared using relative rates (RR). Monthly AU rates were measured in days of therapy (DOT) per 1000 patient days for overall AU, specific agents, and agent groups.

Results: Analyzed data included over 2.5 million DOT and almost 3 million patient-days. Participating hospitals increased ASP-focused activities over time. Network-wide overall AU trends were flat during the first 12 months after network entry but decreased thereafter (RR month 42 vs month 13, 0.95, 95% confidence interval [CI]: .91-.99). Large variation was seen in hospital-specific AU. Fluoroquinolone use was stable during year 1 and then dropped significantly. Other agent groups demonstrated a nonsignificant downward trajectory after year 1.

Conclusions: Network hospitals increased ASP activities and demonstrated decline in AU over a 42-month period. A collaborative, consultative network is a unique model in which hospitals can access ASP implementation expertise to support long-term program growth.

Keywords: antibiotic stewardship; antibiotic utilization; antimicrobial stewardship; implementation; network.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antimicrobial Stewardship*
  • Fluoroquinolones
  • Hospitals, Community
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Fluoroquinolones