Antimicrobial stewardship requirements for ambulatory healthcare organizations introduced

June 25, 2019

Effective January 1, 2020, new antimicrobial stewardship requirements will be applicable to Joint Commission-accredited ambulatory healthcare organizations that routinely prescribe antimicrobial medications. The rationale, references and requirements behind the updated standards are detailed in a new R3 Report: Antimicrobial Stewardship in Ambulatory Health Care from The Joint Commission.

This project is a continuation of The Joint Commission’s ongoing initiative to promote the appropriate use of antimicrobial medications in the hospital, critical access hospital and nursing care center programs.

With improving patient safety as its goal, The Joint Commission developed new requirements to help decrease misuse of antimicrobial medications, which contributes to antibiotic resistance and adverse drug events. The new Medication Management standard includes five elements of performance (EPs) to address antimicrobial stewardship in the ambulatory setting.

The new EPs align with current recommendations from scientific and professional organizations and address the following concepts:

1.      Identifying an antimicrobial stewardship leader

2.       Establishing an annual antimicrobial stewardship goal

3.       Implementing evidence-based practice guidelines related to the antimicrobial stewardship goal

4.       Providing clinical staff with educational resources related to the antimicrobial stewardship goal

5.       Collecting, analyzing, and reporting data related to the antimicrobial stewardship goal

In addition to an extensive literature review and public field review, The Joint Commission obtained expert guidance from a Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) and a Standards Review Panel (SRP).

The prepublication version of the antimicrobial stewardship requirements will be available on the Prepublications Standards section of The Joint Commission website until the end of December 2019.

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