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.

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:

UTI – Download guidelines here

  • 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.

SSTI – Download guidelines here

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