The incorporation of information technology (IT) into an antimicrobial stewardship program help improve efficiency of the interventions and facilitate tracking and reporting of key metrics, including outcomes, according to a Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) white paper published in the society’s journal Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

Reporting of key metrics

Antimicrobial resistance is increasing; however, antimicrobial drug development is slowing. Now more than ever before; antimicrobial stewardship is of the ; utmost importance as a way to optimize the use of antimicrobials to prevent the development of resistance and improve patient outcomes.  This review describes the why, what, who, how, when, and where of antimicrobial stewardship. Techniques of stewardship are summarize; and a plan for implementation of a stewardship program is outline.

“When use intentionally; information technology  help ease the growing demands placed on healthcare systems to meet antimicrobial stewardship standards and reporting requirements; even as financial and personnel resources are reduced;” says  Kristi Kuper; PharmD, BCPS, senior clinical manager for infectious diseases in the Center for Pharmacy Practice Excellence at Vizient and lead author of the white paper.

The Infectious diseases

The paper, The Role of Electronic Health Record and “Add-On” Clinical Decision Support Systems to Enhance Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs; provides a review of the stewardship related functionality within these IT systems. The paper also describes how the platforms can be used to improve antimicrobial use and identifies how this technology can support current and potential future antimicrobial stewardship regulatory and accreditation standards.

It also suggests enhancements to existing systems in use today. Because Beyond recommendations on how best to select; therefore  implement; and utilize EHR and clinical decision-support tools; the authors outline several recommendations to help close the gaps in existing systems including: Creating more nimble systems for non-acute settings such as primary care clinics; surgery centers.

Clinical decision support

and outpatient dialysis centers Improving documentation processes for clinical decision support and EHR tools to reduce the provider burden Enhancing the ability to track and report patient outcomes Establishing user networks to share best practices and reduce redundancies to help increase the efficiency of the development of rules and reports
“While existing systems may present challenges, when used optimally, informatics can create readily available tools for local and national reporting, help guide appropriate antimicrobial prescribing that improves selection, dosing, and duration of therapy, and serve as an educational reference for trainees and providers,” said Kuper.