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Hosp Pharm. 2019 Feb;54(1):51-56. doi: 10.1177/0018578718769240. Epub 2018 Apr 10.

Remote Antimicrobial Stewardship: A Solution for Meeting The Joint Commission Stewardship Standard?

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University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, USA.
Medical City Dallas, TX, USA.
Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.
Emory University Hospital Midtown, Atlanta, GA, USA.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the time required for antimicrobial stewardship (AS) activities at a small community hospital (SCH) as well as barriers to remote AS to satisfy The Joint Commission (TJC)'s AS standard. Methods: This was a prospective chart review and time study conducted in patients identified by a clinical decision support application as potential opportunities for antimicrobial therapy modification at a SCH between December 12, 2016, and March 31, 2017. Potential interventions were communicated electronically to the clinical pharmacy specialist, who would then communicate the recommendations to the patient's provider. The primary endpoint was a time study for stewardship activities. Secondary endpoints included describing barriers encountered to remote AS as well as a cost-benefit analysis of remote AS. Results: The time study revealed an average of 11 alerts per day, 9 chart reviews per day, 8 interventions per day, and 5 minutes per chart. Seven hundred twenty-four alerts were evaluated with the most common alerts constituting opportunities for de-escalation (29%), targeted drugs (22%), positive blood cultures (18%), Intravenous (IV) to oral (PO) (17%), and antimicrobial renal monitoring (8%).Interventions were accepted (11%), accepted modified (6%), rejected (35%), or undetermined (48%). Barriers to implementation included workflow and indirect communication. For patients with accepted interventions, there was an average savings of $279.82 per patient in pharmacy charges. Conclusion: Through remote AS, a SCH can have an antimicrobial stewardship program that is in compliance with the basic elements of the TJC standard MM.09.01.01, performs daily chart review by an infectious diseases trained pharmacist to increase the quality of patient care, and achieves a mean savings of $279.82 in pharmacy charges and $1,126.26 in hospital charges per patient with accepted interventions.


Joint Commission; antimicrobial stewardship; stewardship

[Available on 2020-02-01]

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of Conflicting Interests: The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

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