Infection preventionists should be aware that with the turn of the new year, The Joint Commission’s antibiotic stewardship standard is now in effect. The new Medication Management (MM) standard (MM.09.01.01) requires antimicrobial stewardship programs for hospitals, critical access hospitals, and nursing care centers.
According to The Joint Commission, the new standard includes elements of performance as summarized below:
- make antimicrobial stewardship an organizational priority,
- form a multidisciplinary antimicrobial stewardship team that includes, if possible, an infection preventionist, a pharmacist, and a physician,
- educate healthcare workers on antibiotic resistance and stewardship practices, and
- educate patients and families on appropriate use of antibiotics.
The Joint Commission is a deemed authority to enforce conditions of participation (CoP) for CMS, which issued a new proposed rule June 16, 2016, requiring antibiotic stewardship programs in hospitals to rein in drug-resistant bacteria and stop the rise of Clostridium difficile infections. The Joint Commission approach appears to be based on the CMS proposed requirements and the core practices for stewardship recommended by the CDC.
“The CDC estimates that, annually, at least 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths are caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the United States alone,” the Joint Commission stated in a background document.2 “This standard will promote patient safety and quality of care, as well as align these accreditation programs with current recommendations from professional and scientific organizations. An antimicrobial stewardship standard is being developed for both the ambulatory and office-based surgery settings.”
In a related development, The Joint Commission has revised and updated its National Patient Safety Goal on preventing catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs). The goal, which now also applies to nursing homes, has been updated to include new elements of performance.
According to The Joint Commission, these include the following:
- educate healthcare workers on the proper use of indwelling urinary catheters, the risks of CAUTIs, and the importance of infection prevention,
- develop written criteria, using established evidence-based guidelines, for placement of an indwelling urinary catheter,
- follow your written catheter procedures and guidelines on insertion and maintenance of urinary catheters, and
- measure and monitor CAUTI prevention processes, and in units and wards where a high volume of catheters are used.
- Joint Commission. Prepublication Requirements. New Antimicrobial Stewardship Standard. June 22, 2016: http://bit.ly/29kWfRH.
- Joint Commission. New antimicrobial stewardship standard. R3 Report 2016;(8): http://bit.ly/2gDxqpj.