Erin N O’Leary, Melinda M Neuhauser, Anita McLees, Margaret Paek, Jamie Tappe, Arjun Srinivasan

An Update from the National Healthcare Safety Network on Hospital Antibiotic Stewardship Programs in the United States, 2014-2021

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Oncology

Abstract Background In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the Core Elements of Hospital Antibiotic Stewardship Programs (ASPs) and began monitoring uptake through the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) Annual Hospital Survey. In 2019, CDC updated the Core Elements and in 2022 released the Priorities for Hospital Core Element Implementation. We describe Core Element uptake from 2014 to 2021, provide a snapshot of specific ASP practices in acute care hospitals in 2021, and describe how we plan to monitor stewardship moving forward. Methods We used the NHSN annual hospital survey to summarize facility demographics and ASP practices and to monitor uptake of Core Elements. Questions have been updated over time, so not all data could be compared across years. Results Uptake of all seven Core Elements increased from 41% in 2014 to 95% in 2021. Uptake of all six Priority Elements was 10% in 2021, though 46% of hospitals met four or five of the possible six. Antibiotic stewardship was specifically listed in a contract or job description for about 60% of program leaders. The percent of physician-pharmacist co-led programs rose from 23% to 64%. Seventy-six percent of hospitals reported implementing audit with feedback interventions. Conclusions With nearly all acute care hospitals reporting uptake of the seven Core Elements in 2021, and with more evidence for which ASP practices are most effective, the Priorities for Hospital Core Element Implementation were released in 2022 to help enhance the quality and impact of existing antibiotic stewardship programs.

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