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Washington Regional Earns Antimicrobial Stewardship Center of Excellence Designation Renewal

Washington Regional Medical Center has successfully earned renewal of its designation as an Antimicrobial Stewardship Center of Excellence (CoE) by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). Washington Regional is the only hospital in Arkansas and one of only 131 hospitals in the United States to hold the prestigious CoE designation. Washington Regional first achieved CoE status in 2018 and is one of only 32 hospitals in the country to receive CoE renewal since 2018.

Antimicrobial stewardship refers to the steps taken by a health care system to ensure the appropriate use of antibiotics. The objective of stewardship programs is to improve patient outcomes while reducing antibiotic resistance, health care-associated infections, and overall health care costs. Stewardship programs ensure patients receive the right antibiotic, at the right dosage, at the right time and for the right duration. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named antibiotic resistance as one of the largest public health challenges. The CDC estimates that each year in the United States, 2.8 million people will contract an antibiotic-resistant infection and 35,000 of those people will die.

The CoE program was launched by the IDSA in 2017 and is reserved for those hospitals whose stewardship programs have achieved quality standards set by the CDC and IDSA. This designation is considered the industry’s gold standard in antimicrobial stewardship. Washington Regional’s stewardship program was established in 2012 and is led by infectious disease specialist Dr. Buddy Newton, who also co-chairs the Arkansas Department of Health’s subcommittee for antimicrobial stewardship. “The physicians, pharmacists and leadership at Washington Regional are dedicated to antimicrobial stewardship,” said Dr. Newton. “We are honored to once again be recognized for our commitment to establishing and following best practices when prescribing antimicrobials, which ensures quality care and that these life-saving medicines will be available for future generations.”