Practice Guide Helps LTC Facilities Establish an Antimicrobial Stewardship Program

Eikelenboom-Boskamp, et al. (2023) report that a practice guide to help nursing homes set up an antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) program was developed based on experiences gained during a project at one of the largest providers of elderly care in the southeast of the Netherlands.

The guideline for the implementation of AMS in Dutch hospitals served as a starting point and were tailored to the unique characteristics of a nursing home setting. This practice guide offers recommendations and practical tools while emphasizing the importance of establishing a multidisciplinary approach to oversee AMS efforts.

The recommendations and practical tools address various elements of AMS, including the basic conditions to initiate an AMS program and a comprehensive approach to embed an AMS program. This approach involves educating nurses and caregivers, informing volunteers and residents/their representatives, and the activities of an antibiotic team (A-team).

The practice guide also highlights a feasible work process for the A-team. This process aims to achieve a culture of continuous learning and improvement that can enhance the overall quality of antibiotic prescribing rather than making individual adjustments to client prescriptions.

Overall, this practice guide aims to help nursing homes establish an AMS program through collaborative efforts between involved physicians, pharmacists, clinical microbiologists, and infection control practitioners. The involved physician plays a crucial role in instilling a sense of urgency and developing a stepwise strategy, the researchers report.

Reference: Eikelenboom-Boskamp A, et al. A practice guide on antimicrobial stewardship in nursing homes. Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control. Volume 12, article number 120 (2023).