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This award-winning blog supplements the articles in Hospital Infection Control & Prevention.

Joint Commission joins Drug Stewardship Gold Rush with New Standard

By Gary Evans, AHC Media Senior Staff Writer

Following suit with a recent CMS proposed rule, the Joint Commission has announced a new Medication Management standard (MM.09.01.01) that requires antimicrobial stewardship for hospitals, critical access hospitals and nursing care centers.

Effective Jan. 1, 2017, the new standard would include the following elements of performance:

• Leaders establishing antimicrobial stewardship as an organizational priority.

• Educating staff and licensed independent practitioners involved with ordering, dispensing, administering and monitoring antimicrobial resistance and stewardship practices.

• Educating patients and families on appropriate use of medications, including antibiotics.

• Creating a multidisciplinary, antimicrobial stewardship team.

• Developing an antimicrobial stewardship program.

The Joint Commission is a deemed authority to enforce conditions of participation (CoP) for the CMS, which issued a new proposed rule June 16, 2016 requiring antibiotic stewardship programs in hospitals to reign in drug-resistant bacteria and stop the rise of Clostridium difficile infections.

Infection preventionists have drawn key supporting roles in the CMS proposed rule, but the agency called for program leadership at a physician or comparable level.

How big a priority has antibiotic stewardship become? The CMS is incorporating the term into its current “infection control” Conditions of Participation (CoP) 482.42. The CMS proposes a change to the title of this CoP to “Infection Prevention and Control and Antibiotic Stewardship Programs.”

For more on this important development see the August 2016 issue of Hospital Infection Control & Prevention.