ID specialists as the leaders of antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs)
across the health care system is one of IDSA’s top strategic priorities (see my
earlier President’s message on this theme).
We have many
irons in this fire, and the latest (perhaps the hottest one) is this: IDSA and the Society for Healthcare
Epidemiology of America (SHEA) are urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services (CMS) to establish ASPs as a condition of participation in Medicare
and Medicaid, and in so doing, making our case for why these programs should be
led by infectious diseases physicians. Our two societies recently made
this case in our joint comment letter (PDF) in response to CMS’s recent proposed rule.
Given the significant changes to infection prevention and control
programs and the proposal to establish ASPs in all acute care and critical
access hospitals, our Societies highlighted the patient safety aspects of these
activities and the multi-disciplinary teams involved. We now await CMS’ finalization of the
conditions of participation, and we hope our recommendations will prevail.
Commission has already specifically cited the involvement of ID physicians in
ASPs in their new Antimicrobial Stewardship Standards for hospitals and nursing homes,
which is important as The Joint Commission accredits almost 80 percent of all
hospitals. This is a crucial and
satisfying recognition given our long-term advocacy on antimicrobial stewardship and the
looming threat of resistance.
As we wait
for the final rule from CMS, we continue our work to support your efforts to
lead antimicrobial stewardship activities at the local level. IDSA is
developing numerous resources, including an ASP Policy and Procedure template with suggested language describing
procedures, personnel composition, interventions, and surveillance. You can
find these resources in The Value of ID
Toolkit (member login required). IDSA’s Joint Antimicrobial Stewardship Task Force,
comprised of members from IDSA, SHEA, and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases
Society (PIDS), fielded a survey last month to members who lead ASPs at their
respective facilities. The findings from this survey will help to benchmark
current stewardship resources across various types of facilities. We are also working on an instructional video
that demonstrates how a tele-stewardship program can be implemented to extend
ID physician leadership of ASPs to remote facilities.
leadership in ASPs is just one of IDSA’s strategic priorities. I encourage you
to read more about the IDSA strategic priorities
and to take an active role in the Society—your Society. You have an immediate opportunity to do so by casting
your vote in the upcoming election for the Board of Directors.
opportunity to share your thoughts and opinions on the activities of the
Society will be at the first-ever IDWeek Town Hall: Securing the Future of ID. I will be joined by
other leaders from IDSA and HIVMA in talking about important activities aimed
at promoting the value of the ID specialty and attracting the best and
brightest to our field. The most important aspect of the Town Hall, in my
opinion, is its interactive nature. YOU will have an opportunity to be heard.
We need to hear about the challenges you face as an ID physician and your
thoughts on what the Society can be doing to help you address those challenges.
The Town Hall is just the kick-off to what we expect to be an ongoing dialogue
with our members, so please join us at IDWeek
2016 and look for continuing online discussions about the issues raised.
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