Providers must have their new antibiotic stewardship programs in place by Nov. 28, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is emphasizing. 

The programs’ success starts with good leadership, according to experts at the American College of Health Care Administrator’s annual convocation in April. 

Core elements include identifying a stewardship champion, who “has interest in it … and really wants to make it work,” said Bonnie Wood, CNHA and the COO for Covenant Health Network.

Providers also should track why drugs are prescribed, and look at stewardship as a team approach.

This can include understanding the root cause of antibiotic resistances and using an alternate pathway, such as observation, for handling common prescribing scenarios, said Peter Patterson, M.D., MBA, medical director and consultant for Covenant.