Antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) are critically important for combating the emergence of antimicrobial resistance. Despite this, there are no regulatory requirements at a national level, which makes initiatives at the state level critical. The objectives of this study were to identify existing antimicrobial stewardship practices, characterize barriers to antimicrobial stewardship implementation in acute care hospitals throughout Massachusetts, and evaluate the impact on these hospitals of a state-sponsored educational conference on antimicrobial stewardship.
In September 2011, a state-sponsored educational program entitled “Building Stewardship: A Team Approach Enhancing Antibiotic Stewardship in Acute Care Hospitals” was offered to interested practitioners from throughout the state. The program consisted of 2 audio conferences, reading materials, and a 1-day conference consisting of lectures focusing on the importance of ASPs, strategies for implementation, improvement strategies for existing programs, and panel discussions highlighting successful practices. Smaller breakout sessions focused on operational issues, including understanding of pharmacodynamics, business models, and electronic surveillance.