The New Jersey Department of Health has recognized Hackensack Meridian Mountainside Medical Center as a 2020 Antimicrobial Steward. This award follows the observance of Antibiotic Awareness Week, an annual recognition hosted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during the month of November to raise awareness of the importance of appropriate antibiotic use to combat the threat of antibiotic resistance.
The New Jersey Antimicrobial Stewardship Recognition Program (ASRP) is voluntary and encourages healthcare facilities to assess how well they are applying the CDC’s Core Elements of Antibiotic Stewardship, a set of key principles to guide efforts to improve antibiotic use, advance patient safety and improve outcomes.
“The multidisciplinary team led by the Pharmacy and Punit Gupta, M.D., Chair of Infectious Disease, has worked diligently to advance stewardship initiatives which have resulted in decreased overall antimicrobial use,” said Mona Nashed, Clinical Pharmacy Coordinator. “Additionally, the pharmacy staff has truly embraced the stewardship efforts, despite the increased workload, because they believe in the program and its impact on future antimicrobial resistance.”
This year, the ASRP application evaluated metrics on hospital leadership commitment, accountability, pharmacy expertise, action, tracking, reporting, and education. Returning Stewards who received the award last year were eligible to reapply to the same category (gold, silver or bronze levels) while new applicants were eligible to receive recognition for a non-tiered Antimicrobial Steward Award. This new award was modified in recognition of the challenges New Jersey’s healthcare facilities experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Receiving this award shows that our Pharmacy team is devoted to improving the use of antimicrobial medications in our facility while protecting our patient population,” said Tim O’Brien, chief executive officer (CEO) of Mountainside Medical Center. “We have learned that COVID-19 can exacerbate antimicrobial resistance and it is extremely important that we continue to reduce the occurrence of antimicrobial-related events.”