Children's Hospital Colorado's new 'handshake stewardship' program led to a 10.9% decline in antibiotic use

Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora has implemented a unique antimicrobial stewardship program, known as "handshake stewardship." The program resulted in a 10.9 percent drop in antibiotic use among inpatients from 2010 to 2014.

The new program involves the following:

•    Fewer restrictions as well as less focus on pre-authorization typically found in antibiotic stewardship programs
•    A daily review — conducted by a pharmacist and physician — of every inpatient antibiotic prescription
•    Daily rounding by a pharmacist and physician team to monitor antibiotic usage and give advice in-person to every inpatient unit using antibiotics

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The program is known as "handshake stewardship" because it involves the personal contact and trust associated with handshakes.

Researchers at Children's Hospital Colorado studied the effect of the program and published results in Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. The study includes a review of all antibiotics prescribed to inpatients between October 2010 and September 2014.

Researchers found that "handshake stewardship" led to:

•    A 10.3 percent drop in antibacterial use hospital-wide
•    A 12.1 percent decrease in antifungal use hospital-wide
•    A 16.4 percent drop in antiviral use hospital-wide

Overall, the hospital saw a decline in antimicrobial use of 10.9 percent.

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