Optimizing Antimicrobial Use

Antimicrobial resistance is a substantial public health threat in the United States. Inappropriate use of antimicrobials by physicians is part of the reason for the current resistance problem. Stewardship programs are intended to prevent or slow the emergence of resistance among microorganisms. It is hoped that this will lead to reductions of patient length of stay, adverse drug reactions, morbidity, mortality and healthcare costs.

The Carolina Antimicrobial Stewardship Program (CASP) and Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy (OPAT) Program at University of North Carolina Hospitals are charged with optimizing the use of antimicrobial agents at the University of North Carolina Hospitals, including when patients leave the hospital and transition to outpatient care.

Featured News

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June 25, 2020

Carolina Antimicrobial Stewardship Program leads remdesivir roll-out across UNC Health hospitals

Carolina Antimicrobial Stewardship Program (CASP) is carrying out intensive stewardship in the realm of COVID-19. The work is a natural extension of its mission to improve the use of antimicrobials (which include antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, and antiparasitics). In addition to CASP’s daily stewardship to ensure patients receive antimicrobials only when needed, with the right drug, right …

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CASP and OPAT were developed in July 2016 as a joint program of the Department of Pharmacy and the Divisions of Adult and Pediatric Infectious Diseases. The primary goals and objectives of the programs are to:

Carolina Antimicrobial Stewardship Program

  • Optimize patient outcomes by promoting the appropriate use of antimicrobials, including the choice of drug, dosing regimen, monitoring, and duration
  • Reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infections due to multi-drug resistant organisms
  • Assist the Adult and Pediatric Infectious Diseases Divisions and Department of Pharmacy in providing a coordinated approach to antimicrobial formulary and restriction management
  • Assist clinicians in antimicrobial decisions by integrating clinical pathways and decision support systems
  • Assist the Adult and Pediatric Infectious Diseases Divisions and Department of Pharmacy in promoting evidence-based medicine as it relates to prescribing, preparing, administering, and monitoring antimicrobials
  • Perform medication use evaluations related to antimicrobial usage to identify areas for future intervention

 

  • Provide education to medical, nursing, and pharmacy staff related to antibiotic stewardship
  • Assist in the management of antimicrobial and vaccine shortages
  • Assure compliance with policy standards related to antibiotic stewardship
  • Ensure accurate transitions of care for patients leaving UNC Medical Center on parenteral antibiotics
  • Provide monitoring and evaluation of clinical issues for patients enrolled in the program.

Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy (OPAT) Program

  • Ensure accurate transitions of care for patients leaving UNC Hospitals on parenteral antibiotics
  • Provide monitoring and evaluation of clinical issues for patients enrolled in the program

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UNC Medical Center is a State of North Carolina STAR Partner (read more)