Essentia Health – St. Joseph’s Medical Center earns Antimicrobial Stewardship honors

Essentia Health – St. Joseph’s Medical Center has earned Gold Honor Roll Status for Antimicrobial Stewardship through the Minnesota Department of Health One Health Antibiotic Stewardship Initiative.

The Gold Honor Roll is the highest level of recognition attainable. In addition to the requirements for Bronze and Silver Honor Roll awards, Gold Honor Roll facilities are recognized for looking beyond their facility to practice antibiotic stewardship in a collaborative way.

Pharmacist and Antimicrobial Stewardship Program Manager, Stephanie Nixon explains, “antimicrobial stewardship is defined as any activity and/or clinical practice involving appropriate drug selection, indication, dose, route of administration and duration of therapy for antimicrobial treatment.” The primary goal is to optimize clinical outcomes while minimizing unintended consequences of antimicrobial use, such as the emergence of antibiotic resistant infections.

While antibiotics are a powerful tool for fighting and preventing infections, the widespread use of antibiotics has resulted in an alarming increase in antibiotic-resistant infections. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in a way that reduces the effectiveness of drugs designed to cure or prevent infections. While antibiotic-resistant infections increase, there are very few new therapeutic options for the treatment of bacterial infections.

The purpose of the Honor Roll is to recognize the work facilities are doing to support antimicrobial stewardship, not only within their own facility, but also within their community through inter-facility engagement and with the public. The objectives of the program include commitment to antimicrobial stewardship from the highest levels of administration to prescribers and caregivers, sharing activities with other health professionals and the public, providing incentive(s) for program improvement in individual facilities and statewide through mentorship, collaboration and a focus on transitions of care, as well as publicizing the importance of antibiotic responsibility.

The Gold Honor Roll award was given to Essentia Health – St. Joseph’s Medical Center along with a number of Essentia Health hospitals and long-term care facilities across the healthcare system.

“It is a privilege to work with staff and leaders within an organization in which each independent facility is recognized and honored for their work and commitment to patient safety and quality antimicrobial stewardship in practice,” shares Nixon. “The earning of Gold Honor Roll status for antimicrobial stewardship through the Minnesota Department of Heath One Health Antibiotic Stewardship Initiative acknowledges achievement and dedication to exceptional work serving patients and the community.”

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