CDC guide targets antibiotic stewardship

Skilled nursing facilities need more help from experts and their own staffs to become better stewards of antibiotic use, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention resource guide.

Core Elements of Antibiotic Stewardship for Nursing Homes is intended to influence antibiotic prescribing practices and help reduce antibiotic-resistant infections such as C. difficile, according to the CDC.

It builds on a 2014 recommendation that all acute care facilities design antibiotic stewardship programs.

The guide suggests that SNFs team with experts experienced in reducing antibiotic use, track how antibiotics are used and identify facility leaders who will advocate for improved performance. A checklist guides best practices and charts improvement.

“Superbugs that are hard to treat pose a health risk to all Americans, particularly the elderly, whose bodies don't fight infection as well,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., in a prepared statement. “One way to keep older Americans safe from these superbugs is to make sure antibiotics are used appropriately all the time and everywhere, particularly in nursing homes.”