Antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed drugs and save millions of lives each year. However, widespread, long-term use has led to an alarming rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria that, in the U.S. alone, cause 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths each year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization have declared antibiotic resistance to be a serious national and global health problem (PDF). In response, TMF Health Quality Institute, as a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Innovation Network Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO), is working with outpatient providers in Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico and Texas to develop a comprehensive antibiotic stewardship program (also known as antimicrobial stewardship) to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
A Collaborative Approach
Aligning with the goals outlined in a report by the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (PDF) and with the Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Health and Human Services Agency Priority Goal, the TMF QIN-QIO will assist participating outpatient providers in developing and/or strengthening existing antibiotic stewardship programs by July 2019. This coordinated initiative will promote the appropriate use of antimicrobials (including antibiotics), improve patient outcomes, reduce microbial resistance and decrease the spread of infections caused by multidrug-resistant organisms.