Franciscan Health Dyer, Munster designated as Infectious Diseases Society of America Antimicrobial Stewardship Centers of Excellence

Franciscan Health Dyer, Munster designated as Infectious Diseases Society of America Antimicrobial Stewardship Centers of Excellence

Hospitals among just 150 to receive international designation

DYER, Indiana – Franciscan Health Dyer and Munster have each received the prestigious Infectious Diseases Society of America Antimicrobial Stewardship Center of Excellence designations.

The achievement makes the two hospitals among six in the state and 150 in the world to hold the distinction. Franciscan Health Olympia Fields in Olympia Fields, Ill., is also a Center of Excellence. 

The Antimicrobial Stewardship Centers for Excellence Program promotes excellence in antimicrobial use and combating antimicrobial resistance by recognizing hospitals that effectively demonstrate excellence in this work.

“This achievement is a great honor and it’s also a recognition of the hard work of many people over the last few years,” said Erica Kaufman West, MD, infectious disease physician at Franciscan Health, who spearheaded the effort. “Our Antimicrobial Stewardship team, the pharmacy teams at Dyer and Munster and the infectious diseases physicians have worked together to make appropriate antimicrobial usage a priority.”

Nov. 18 marks the beginning of National Antibiotic Awareness Week. According to the IDSA, each year, more than 700,000 individuals die due to antimicrobial resistance infections. Antimicrobial resistance refers to microbes’ ability to change and become less susceptible to drugs such as antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals and antiparasitics. This occurs in large part due to the overuse and unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one third of antibiotic prescribing and use is unnecessary. A common misuse is the use of antibiotics for viral infections. Antibiotics are intended to treat bacterial infections and are not effective at treating viral infections. When prescribed for viral infections, antibiotics not only do not combat the virus, but also contribute to antimicrobial resistance.

A Center of Excellence designation signifies an institution has the policies and processes in place to deliver high-quality stewardship services consistently, execute novel stewardship principles and demonstrate a high-level commitment to improving antimicrobial use and reducing resistance.

As part of the ongoing process, the team developed policies to review antibiotic use, established quarterly meetings to discuss antimicrobial usage and work with outpatient providers to make appropriate decisions on the use of antibiotics. 

“By displaying this Center of Excellence designation, we are signaling to our patients and communities that we care that they get the right medications for the right duration, both to advance healing and minimize side effects,” Dr. Kaufman West said.