On June 13, News Medical reported that Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs (ASPs) are more effective when nurses are educated about antimicrobial stewardship and buy in to the cause, according to a recent study conducted at Jefferson Health in New Jersey.
“Our findings show that nurses have been overlooked and under-utilized in ASPs,” said the study’s lead author Cindy Hou, DO, MA, MBA, FACOI, Jefferson Health – New Jersey Infection Control Officer. “Changing the culture and empowering nurses to speak up about antimicrobial stewardship leads to closer team coordination and cross-discipline collaboration, which ultimately saves lives.”
A 10-question quiz found that, in general, nurses were not comfortable with microbiology reports or familiar with unique features of different antibiotics. Jefferson Health was able to achieve buy-in with its nurses by engaging chief nursing officers, opening participation in ASPs to nursing leadership, educators, performance improvement staff, and infection control staff. “Nurse speak” was also used in developing written materials and integrated into their typical nursing work flow.