Every year antibiotic-resistant bacteria infect two million people, cause twenty-three thousand deaths, and cost the health care system as much as twenty billion dollars. The primary cause of bacterial resistance
is antibiotic overuse, and in 2014 the White House issued an executive order directing several federal agencies to act on the problem. “If we start seeing those medicines diminish in effectiveness, we’re going to have problems.” In response, CMS officials have said the agency plans to propose that all hospitals must have an antibiotic stewardship program in place by 2017 as a condition of participation in Medicare. That’s a pretty daunting timeframe when you consider that, according to the CDC, only forty-two percent of hospitals currently maintain a fully functional ASP. In the fall of 2015 we sent a survey to some of our members to gauge the state of antibiotic stewardship programs nationwide. The good news is that the survey found that a majority of respondents have already begun investing in programs. The bad news is that the survey uncovered plenty of roadblocks to getting the programs fully implemented, including lack of staff, lack of data, and a lack of physician champion support. Download our report, or watch our webconference, to learn about these challenges and how to overcome them.