Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs: 10 Links to Free Resources

Its "Get Smart About Antibiotics Week" and "World Antibiotics Awareness Week" (November 14-20), which are both intended to raise awareness of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use.

Each year, at least 2 million people in the United States become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die as a direct result of these infections. It is imperative that every healthcare organization and its staff play a part in encouraging best practices that will help avoid the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance.

There are many free educational resources that your organization can incorporate into its antimicrobial stewardship program. Here are 10 links to webpages providing dozens of tools and materials:

1. Toolkit from Joint Commission Resources, intended to provide valuable guidance to organizations building or looking to improve antimicrobial stewardship programs.

2. Web tools from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), including buttons and badges that you can add to your website and e-cards to send to colleagues, family and friends.

3. Print materials for healthcare professionals from CDC — posters, fact sheets, individual "prescription pad" sheets to provide patient education and a sample letter for day care providers. Note: Materials are provided in low-resolution for office printers. If you want high-resolution formats for commercial printing or are interested in customizing the materials, e-mail the Get Smart program at You can also order small quantities of select materials for free or purchase large quantities.

4. Social media messages from CDC, which provide example Facebook and Twitter pots for education of the general public.

5. Infographics from CDC on topics including antibiotic use, resistance and prescribing.

6. Video and audio tools from CDC, including podcasts, videos for healthcare professionals, and radio and television public service announcements.

7. Tools and sample forms from The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, including an adult inpatient antibiotic approval form, checklist, drug use evaluation form, policies and procedures, request for proposal and job description.

8. Toolkit for reduction of Clostridium difficile infections through antimicrobial stewardship, published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

9. Webinar recording on "Successful Antibiotic Stewardship Program Actions: Antibiotic Time-Out — Essential Elements and Development," hosted by Partnership for Quality Care.

10. Video series on antimicrobial stewardship in long-term care facilities from Nebraska Medicine.