Tag Busters: An Antibiotic Stewardship Success Story

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) identify nursing homes as priority areas for improved antimicrobial stewardship. High rates of antibiotic use in nursing homes are associated with increased rates of adverse effects among all facility residents – not just those receiving antibiotics. Antibiotics are commonly prescribed in nursing homes and 40% of antibiotic stewardship deficiency tags are related to tracking.

Recognizing these serious issues, Telligen partnered with Colorado Health Care Association & Center for Assisted Living and the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment to host the Antibiotic Stewardship “Tag Busters” Learning Series for Colorado long-term care facilities. Antibiotic stewardship optimizes the treatment of infections while reducing the side effects of antibiotic use.

Watch the Antibiotic Stewardship “Tag Busters” series recordings today!

Recruitment began in February of 2023 and garnered 61 participants from 30 different facilities throughout the Denver metro and surrounding rural communities. Beginning in April, six sessions were held in addition to a pre-series session and drop-in office hours for additional support. The objectives of the series were to describe the core elements of antibiotic stewardship (ABS) for nursing homes; design quality initiatives to improve the collection, tracking and reporting of appropriate antibiotic use; apply educational tools and resources to improve ABS programs; and demonstrate effective tracking and reporting practices.

Of the CDC’s seven Core Elements of Antibiotic Stewardship for Nursing Homes, the series focused on evidence-based approaches to improve antibiotic use through action, tracking and reporting. Each month featured a new topic with speakers that shared key information, tools and resources. Learn more about each session’s call to action and watch the on-demand recording:

Throughout the learning series, respondents participated in surveys which found that the most common practices for each focus area were:

    • Action: Prescribers required to document dose, duration, indication for all prescriptions (88%).
    • Tracking: Adherence to clinical assessment documentation (75%) or prescribing documentation with dose, duration, indication (63%).
    • Reporting: Measures of antibiotic use at the facility shared with clinical providers and nursing staff (63%).

Each participating facility completed a quality improvement project in ABS which was shared amongst the group at the final session. Participants were encouraged to celebrate their successes and share details of their project and experience. Throughout the series, seven facilities took advantage of one-on-one consultations with Telligen and the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment regarding their antibiotic stewardship programs.

One participant felt that the Tag Busters series was an “outstanding use of an infection preventionist’s time,” and they highly recommended the series to anyone with a desire to expand their understanding in the infection prevention role. “We now have the knowledge and process to lead plans in antibiotic stewardship.”

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