Pharmacy OneSource Blog

CMS Proposed Rule Ups the Ante on Antimicrobial Stewardship – Is Your Hospital Ready?

The vast majority of clinical leaders recognize the importance of antimicrobial stewardship in today’s healthcare climate. Multiple industry dynamics—including the rise of antibiotic resistant strains, emergence of multidrug-resistant organisms and a lack of new, effective drugs in the market— demands that hospitals take action to improve antibiotic prescribing practices.

As such, most healthcare organization have some antimicrobial processes and oversight in place. But the question is: Are they enough?

In 2014, President Obama issued an executive order and a National Action Plan that directed the Department of Health and Human Services “to review existing regulations and propose new regulations and other actions… that require hospitals and other inpatient healthcare facilities to implement robust antibiotic stewardship programs (ASPs) that adhere best practices, such as those identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” In response, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule in June that would require hospitals to meet new performance criteria. 

The introduction of this proposed rule follows the issuance of eight new antimicrobial performance standards by The Joint Commission for hospitals, critical access hospitals and nursing care centers that go into effect in January 2017. Simply put, expectations and oversight of hospital antimicrobial stewardship efforts is increasing, and this trend is expected to continue.

While not yet finalized, the CMS rule calls for deployment of formal ASPs that work in tandem with infection control programs. Sections pertaining to ASPs focus on two aspects: organization and policies of the programs and leadership responsibilities.

Specifically, the following components are included:

  • Implementation of a hospital-wide ASP
  • Evidence of coordinated efforts across hospital departments including infection prevention and control, quality, medical staff, nursing services and pharmacy.
  • Identified leadership at all levels
  • Antibiotic use protocols and a system to monitor antibiotic use

As the first national regulatory proposal for optimizing use of antibiotics through ASPs, the rule’s impact—if enacted in its current form—is expected to save $1 billion in annual healthcare costs. CMS acknowledges that implementation of an ASP represents a notable economic investment from hospitals—reaching upwards of $100,900 for an acute care facility without a comprehensive stewardship program already in place.

Resource-strapped healthcare organizations need a clear line of sight into the best infrastructures, protocols and workflows for designing and implementing sustainable ASPs. That’s why hospitals and health systems across the country are turning to the powerhouse combination of Sentri7® clinical surveillance solution and OneSource Clinical Services for the robust technological infrastructure, clinical expertise, workflow analysis and change management consulting needed to create high-performing programs.

The results speak for themselves. Notable improvements to both antibiotic use and the bottom line typically include:

  • 35% reduction in antibiotic costs per patient day
  • 50% reduction in some healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).

In fact, one large New Jersey health system saved $1.4 million the first year following Sentri7 deployment and tripled those savings to $5.1 million the second year.

Contact us today to learn more about how real-time aggregation of patient data provided through clinical surveillance can speed tracking, identification and reporting of potential antimicrobial issues, providing the data-driven workflows needed for proactive, impactful response.

Antimicrobial stewardship ebook. Click to download.

Learn More About Our Products & Solutions