Pharmacists Certified as Antimicrobial Stewards

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St. James Parish Hospital pharmacists, Scott Dantonio, RPh, Director of Pharmacy, and Diana Nguyen, PharmD recently completed extensive training to earn MAD-ID certification in Antimicrobial Stewardship.

Dantonio and Nguyen both serve on the hospital’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Team as advocates in the fight against antibiotic resistance. Together, they completed several hours of courses and submitted a presentation about the plan implemented and continually monitored at St. James Parish Hospital. 

Antimicrobial Stewardship, aimed at addressing one of the nation’s fastest growing public health concerns, is a coordinated effort that promotes the appropriate use of antimicrobials (including antibiotics), improves patient outcomes, reduces microbial resistance and decreases the spread of infections caused by multidrug-resistant organisms.

Antibiotic-resistant germs are strains of bacteria that can’t be killed—at last not easily. They evolve quickly by developing mutations that help them evade the effects of antibiotics. They can even be carried by healthy people with no symptoms, putting the most vulnerable at risk. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that two million people are affected annually resulting in 23,000 deaths each year.

“Antibiotic Stewardship is a team effort.  It takes support from hospital administration, frontline staff, physicians and the community to help make the program work,” said Dantonio. 
 
The hospital’s team, which focuses on responsible, safe use of antibiotics, meets throughout the year to review lab data and prescribing habits, offer data-based feedback and lead community-wide education. In addition, the team is continually expanding their knowledge by remaining up-to-date on best practices. The team urges community members to educate themselves and resist asking for antibiotics. Allow physicians to determine the safest course of action. 

As a reminder, antibiotics do not treat viruses such as the flu, common cold and most sore throats. Taking an antibiotic when it is not necessary puts you at risk of developing a drug resistant—and potentially deadly—infection later on.  Also, remember to take antibiotics exactly as prescribed for as long as prescribed. 

The hospital would like to congratulate its Pharmacy crew on earning this elite certification and for continuing to lead efforts to fight drug-resistant germs now and in the future. 

18-Mar-2019 to 18-Mar-2019