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CDC Resource Set to Improve Nursing Home Antibiotic Use

Resource provides practical ways for nursing homes to initiate or expand stewardship programs

FRIDAY, Sept. 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a new resource: Core Elements of Antibiotic Stewardship for Nursing Homes, which has been developed to guide improvement in antibiotic prescribing practices in nursing homes.

Antibiotics are the most frequently prescribed medications in nursing homes, and up to 75 percent are given inappropriately (unnecessary or wrong drug, dose, or duration), according to the CDC.

The Core Elements provides practical ways for nursing homes to monitor and improve antibiotic use. A companion checklist can be used to assess policies and practices in place and review progress toward expansion of stewardship activities. Nursing home antibiotic stewardship programs should include leadership commitment to safe and appropriate antibiotic use; offer accountability by identifying leaders who are responsible for overseeing the program; establish access to experts in improving antibiotic use; take at least one new action to improve antibiotic use; track antibiotic use and complications from antibiotic use; share information with health care providers and staff about antibiotic use; and provide educational resources for health care providers, nursing staff, residents, and families.

"We encourage nursing homes to work in a step-wise manner implementing one or two activities at first, then gradually adding new strategies from each core element over time," Nimalie Stone, M.D., CDC medical epidemiologist for long-term care, said in a statement.

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