Antimicrobial Stewardship

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 20-50 percent of all antibiotics prescribed in U.S. acute care hospitals are either unnecessary or inappropriate.

Antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) is a coordinated program 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.

AMS and antimicrobial resistance are persistently linked. When antibiotics are prescribed inappropriately or not taken correctly, the bacteria the antibiotics are meant to treat can develop resistance – the antibiotics no longer work in combatting infection.

Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) is committed to working with its member hospitals to improve antimicrobial stewardship and associated patient outcomes.

NHSN AUR Training

For pharmacists, infection preventionists, administrators or anyone interested
To register, email Toni Foos (


Friday, March 30  |  9–11:30 a.m.
Gunnison Valley Health, Gunnison, CO
Free to attend

Wednesday, April 4  |  1–3:30 p.m.
Parkview Medical Center, Pueblo, CO
Free to attend

Friday, April 6  |  9–11:30 a.m.
The Medical Center of Aurora, Aurora, CO
Free to attend


New regulations proposed by CMS would require hospitals to document their antimicrobial stewardship surveillance activities. Such activities would be required to be conducted in accordance with nationally recognized surveillance practices. The CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network’s (NHSN) antibiotic use option allows facilities to document their antibiotic use in a nationally recognized secure tracking system.

In this free training, you will learn the fundamentals of reporting antimicrobial use data into NHSN.

Why It’s Important:

Antimicrobial stewardship is necessary to address rising antimicrobial resistance in Colorado and worldwide. In addition, antimicrobial stewardship is part of good patient care. Improving antimicrobial use improves patient outcomes, reduces adverse events, lowers risk of infection with antimicrobial resistant organisms and Clostridium difficile and lowers hospital costs.

Antimicrobial use data are essential to antimicrobial stewardship. These data allow health care providers to identify facility needs, plan antimicrobial stewardship interventions and measure success. Antimicrobial use data are an important tool for public health response to antimicrobial resistance threats.

The antimicrobial use option in NHSN gives health care providers a standardized measure of antimicrobial use specific to a facility, patient-care location or antimicrobial class and an indication of where antimicrobial use if higher or lower than expected. This information is an effective component of a successful antimicrobial stewardship program.

Contact Information:

Toni Foos

Toni Foos

Infection Prevention Manager

AMS Collaborative Study

Recently CHA completed a two-year AMS collaborative that actively engaged 26 member hospitals. The overarching goal of the collaborative was to encourage hospitals to focus on two specific syndromes commonly associated with over-prescribing: urinary tract infections (UTIs) and skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs). A steering committee of academic and community partners with relevant expertise in medicine and pharmacy, developed evidence-based diagnosis and prescribing guidelines for the hospitals to employ. At the end of the collaborative the following achievements were made:


  • The proportion of cases meeting clinical criteria for UTI increased from 51 percent to 54 percent.
  • Use of fluoroquinolones decreased from 49 percent to 41 percent.


  • The proportion of patients treated with broad-spectrum gram-negative antibiotics declined from 61 percent to 53 percent.


Acute Care Antimicrobial Stewardship Collaborative Report