Antimicrobial Stewardship Program
Striking back at antimicrobial resistance
"Antimicrobial resistance costs money, livelihood, and lives, and threatens to undermine the effectiveness of health delivery programs. It has been described as a threat to global stability and national security. Antimicrobial use is the key driver of resistance. This selective pressure comes from a combination of overuse... and also from misuse."
-WHO Global Strategy for Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance, 2000.
Through a joint effort of Pharmaceutical & Nutrition Care, Healthcare Epidemiology and Infection Control, and the Infectious Diseases Section of Internal Medicine, the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program (ASP) at The Nebraska Medical Center has been active since August 2004. The mission of the ASP is to optimize the utilization of antimicrobial agents in order to realize improved patient outcomes, a positive effect on antimicrobial resistance, and an economic benefit.
Antimicrobial stewardship is defined as a rational, systematic approach to the use of antimicrobial agents in order to achieve optimal outcomes. This means using the right agent, at the correct dose, for the appropriate duration in order to cure or prevent infection, while minimizing toxicity and emergence of resistance. One must note that although costs are important to any healthcare institution, the focus of antimicrobial stewardship is the patient and public health. Terms often used for programs that promote antimicrobial stewardship include Antimicrobial/Antibiotic Control Teams, Antimicrobial/Antibiotic Management Teams, or Antimicrobial/Antibiotic Stewardship Programs.