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Antibiotics, when used as indicated, can save lives in the hospital setting. However, antibiotic misuse and overuse are contributing to the problem of antibiotic-resistant infections and serious side effects such as Clostridium difficile. Hospitals that have antibiotic stewardship programs and follow guidelines in resources such as the CMS infection control worksheet can reduce unnecessary antibiotic usage and side effects.
To further the cause of antibiotic stewardship, The Joint Commission has released a set of draft standards in the December issue of its Perspectives newsletter. The standards would apply to all hospitals, nursing care centers, and office-based surgery practices. The standards can be found in The Joint Commission Perspectives, December 2015, Volume 35, Number 12, at http://www.jcrinc.com/the-joint-commission-perspectives/.
Other antibiotic stewardship resources include the following: