The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has created an Antimicrobial Stewardship Guide to help nursing homes improve antibiotic use and decrease harms caused by inappropriate prescribing.

The guide, which is consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) core elements of antibiotic stewardship, can help health care providers meet the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS’) new Infection Prevention and Control Program requirements. The CDC program requires providers to have a system to prevent, identify, report, investigate and control infections and communicable diseases for all facility residents, staff, volunteers and visitors.

AHRQ says its stewardship guide can be customized to meet facilities’ specific needs. It includes four toolkits designed to:

  • Implement, monitor and sustain an antimicrobial stewardship program
  • Determine whether it is necessary to treat a potential infection with antibiotics
  • Help prescribing clinicians use an antibiogram to choose the right antibiotic to treat a particular infection
  • Educate and engage residents and family members

Learn more about the toolkit in this AHRQ blog post from Dr. James I. Cleeman, M.D., director of the Division of Healthcare-Associated Infections at the AHRQ Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety.