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Washington Regional Earns Designation as Antimicrobial Stewardship Center of Excellence

Washington Regional Medical Center is the first hospital in Arkansas to be designated as an Antimicrobial Stewardship Center of Excellence (CoE) by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (ISDA). Only 38 hospitals in the United States hold the CoE designation.

Antimicrobial stewardship refers to the steps taken within 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, healthcare-associated infections, and overall healthcare costs. Stewardship programs ensure patients receive the right antibiotic, at the right dosage, at the right time and for the right duration. This is important, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), because antimicrobial resistance and healthcare-associated infections caused by inappropriate usage of antibiotics are responsible for over 120,000 deaths per year. The direct medical costs associated with these issues is estimated to be $28 billion annually.

The CoE program was launched by ISDA in 2017 and recognizes institutions that have created outstanding stewardship programs that achieve quality standards established by the CDC. Washington Regional’s stewardship program was established in 2012 and is led by infectious disease physician, Dr. Buddy Newton, who is also chairman of the Arkansas Department of Health’s subcommittee for antimicrobial stewardship. “The physicians, pharmacists and leadership at Washington Regional are committed to antimicrobial stewardship,” said Dr. Newton. “We are honored to be recognized for establishing and utilizing best practices when prescribing antimicrobials, which in turn ensures quality care.”