Joint Commission adds antimicrobial stewardship standard

The Joint Commission has announced a new medication management accreditation standard that addresses antimicrobial stewardship policies in hospitals, critical access hospitals and nursing care centers.

With this announcement, the Joint Commission follows suit with CMS, which announced a proposed rule in June that would require hospitals to implement antibiotic stewardship programs to participate in Medicare and Medicaid.

"There has been significant support for the antimicrobial stewardship standard for the hospital, critical access hospital, and nursing care center accreditation programs from several governmental and professional organizations," according to the Joint Commission website.

Elements of the standard for hospitals and critical access hospitals include:

  • Establishing antimicrobial stewardship as an organizational priority
  • Educating staff and practitioners involved in ordering, dispensing and monitoring antibiotics about antibiotic resistance and good stewardship practices
  • Educating patients and families about appropriate use of antimicrobials
  • Establishing an antimicrobial stewardship team, including an infectious disease physician, an infection preventionist, a pharmacist and a practitioner
  • Setting up an antimicrobial stewardship program following Joint Commission guidelines
  • Gathering, analyzing and reporting data on the program

The new standard will become effective Jan. 1, 2017. It is available prepublication here.

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