November 18, 2021

Antimicrobial stewardship effort expanding reach

The Vanderbilt Antimicrobial Stewardship Program recently expanded to the outpatient realm to provide more support for providers to optimize antibiotic use and delivery in the clinic setting.


by Jessica Pasley

Members of the Vanderbilt Antimicrobial Stewardship Program (VASP) have a motto: The right drug for the right bug at the right time for the right duration.

Milner Staub, MD, MPH, and Sophie Katz, MD, MPH, are taking the motto, traditionally used in the inpatient setting, and the program a step further to optimize the appropriate use of antibiotics to achieve better and safer care for all patients.

Milner Staub, MD, MPH

The two are spreading the news that VASP, a mainstay in both the adult and pediatric hospitals at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, recently expanded to the outpatient realm to provide more support for providers to optimize antibiotic use and delivery in the clinic setting.

“We wanted to create facilitywide, clinical guidance to help outpatient providers make better informed decisions about their antibiotic choices for their patients using our local antimicrobial resistance data,” said Staub, assistant professor of Medicine, director of Outpatient Antimicrobial Stewardship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and director of Antimicrobial Stewardship at the VA-Tennessee Valley Health Services.

“It’s been a routine practice for us to use our local data to help our medical team provide excellent care and

Sophie Katz, MD, MPH

come to the best solution faster for their patients in the hospital. Now we are doing the same for our outpatient populations.”

According to Staub and cohort Katz, assistant professor of Pediatrics and director of Outpatient Pediatric Antimicrobial Stewardship at Children’s Hospital, it’s imperative that patients and providers are aware of the program’s expansion.

“Traditionally, stewardship is seen in the inpatient arena and is not as visible for outpatients,” said Katz. “Providers will begin noticing that there will be reports available specifically addressing antimicrobial prescribing in the outpatient settings.

“We want our peers to know we are here to help them. Patients need to be aware that we are providing evidence-based data and recommendations for clinical decision support in the treatment of infections.

“We have data of all antibiotic use across the system,” added Katz. “Quality Safety and Risk Prevention helped us create a dashboard that tracks all antibiotic prescriptions written in the outpatient setting.”

This outpatient data resource, which is not a widely used practice across the country, will allow Staub and Katz to create guidelines to support clinicians when determining the most effective and efficient manner to improve patient care when it comes to prescribing antibiotics in outpatient clinics.

“We want to create a streamlined guide to make it easier for providers to improve their prescribing habits,” said Staub. “We are gathering outpatient-specific data now so we can create tools that make outpatient diagnosis and treatment of infections more efficient for providers and more efficacious for patients.”