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CHCC recognized for improving antibiotic use, advancing patient safety

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CHCC recognized for improving antibiotic use, advancing patient safety

The New Jersey Department of Health, in partnership with New Jersey Hospital Association, once again awarded Christian Health’s (CHCC) long-term care communities and Ramapo Ridge Behavioral Health with Antimicrobial Stewardship Recognition Awards. CHCC’s long-term care communities received silver recognition, and RRBH was awarded bronze.

The New Jersey Antimicrobial Stewardship Recognition Awards is a voluntary, incentive program which encourages health-care facilities to assess how well they apply the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Core Elements of Antibiotic Stewardship, a set of key principles to help organizations improve antibiotic use and outcomes, and advance patient safety.

Antibiotics are some of the most widely prescribed drugs, yet according to the CDC, up to 50% of all antibiotics prescribed are either not necessary or are not effective as prescribed; this has become widely recognized as a top public-health priority. The CDC also notes that antibiotics are among the most frequently prescribed medications in nursing homes, with up to 70% of residents receiving one or more courses of systemic antibiotics over a given year. Antibiotic stewardship initiatives are a crucial measure in preventing the overuse and misuse of antimicrobials.

Effective antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASP) help curtail the spread of existing multi-drug resistance organisms (MDRO) and prevent the proliferation of emerging MDROs. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, ASPs are even more important since improper treatment of COVID-19 with antimicrobials can exacerbate antimicrobial resistance.

“Continuing to be recognized at silver and bronze levels by the New Jersey Department of Health for our team’s ongoing commitment to optimal patient/resident care, treatment, and safety is especially meaningful this year,” says Allen Khademi, MD, CHCC’s Vice President of Medical Affairs. “Preventing overuse of antibiotics requires a proactive approach to care, including clinician education, and patient and family engagement around proper use of antibiotics. We continue to be committed to this important practice, even in the midst of a pandemic.”