A new accreditation requirement from The Joint Commission (TJC) calls for ambulatory care centers to institute antimicrobial stewardship programs.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, outpatient facilities that “routinely prescribe antimicrobial medications” must have programs in place to combat antibiotic misuse, which promotes antibiotic resistance, according to a report from TJC released on June 20. The accrediting body already requires similar programs for hospitals and long-term care facilities. The report from TJC outlines five new requirements for ambulatory care facilities:
- Designate an individual responsible for developing and monitoring appropriate prescribing practices (this can be the person’s sole job or an additional assignment);
- Establish at least one goal each year related to antimicrobial stewardship;
- Use evidence-based guidelines to complete the goal;
- Educate staff and physicians on the stewardship goal and prescribing practices that discourage antibiotic misuse;
- Collect and analyze related data.
“The inappropriate use of antimicrobial medications contributes to antibiotic resistance and adverse drug events,” TJC said upon releasing the report. “Improving antimicrobial prescribing practices is a patient safety priority.”