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

Why Antibiotic Stewardship Teams Need IPs

Patti Kieffer, BSN, RN, CIC, FAPIC, infection prevention consultant at BJC HealthCare in St. Louis, had a much different talk in mind when she originally thought of addressing her IP colleagues on the antibiotic stewardship.

She didn’t say exactly what it was, but it is no secret some IPs, have questioned how a profession that cannot prescribe antibiotics drew such a critical role in combatting drug resistance by clamping down on antibiotic overuse and misuse.

“I have to be honest with you,” she said recently in Portland at the annual conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). “I have sort of done a 180 from when I started talking about doing this presentation. It was actually last year at APIC that I had the idea. As I prepared this talk over the course of the last year I have really changed my view about infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship.”

In the interim she teamed with key colleagues in pharmacy and medicine to implement an antibiotic stewardship program at BJC and its affiliated hospitals.

“Some of the conclusions I have reached over the course of the last year in working with [my colleagues] is that our stewardship teams have a lot to learn by working with infection prevention and a lot to gain by partnering with infection prevention,” she said. “Another realization I have come to is that infection prevention has a lot to gain as well by partnering in stewardship. I also think we have a lot to lose if we choose not to partner. That is sort of the transition I have made in my own personal view of antibiotic stewardship,"

For more on this story see the August 2017 issue of Hospital Infection Control & Prevention.