Skilled Nursing Facility Antimicrobial Stewardship Plan Required By January 1, 2017

In 2015, the legislature passed and the Governor signed AB 361 (Hill), which requires all skilled nursing homes to adopt and implement an antimicrobial stewardship policy that is consistent with antimicrobial stewardship guidelines developed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, or similar recognized professional organizations.

The California Department of Public Health, Healthcare-Associated Infections Program (CDPH/HAI) has been promoting antimicrobial stewardship programs in hospitals for approximately four years. As the programs progressed, these efforts expanded to other healthcare settings, recognizing that patients/residents with illnesses attributed to infections with antimicrobial-resistance organisms often transfer between health facility settings. The purpose of an antimicrobial stewardship program is to institute measures to reduce the emergence and spread of resistant bacteria, thus contributing to continued availability to therapeutics for treatment.

This initiative highlights three healthcare-associated infections: Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), and staph bacteria including methicillin-resistant stapylococcus aureus (MRSA). Click here for more information about combatting Antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

CDPH/HAI has also posted an Antimicrobial Stewardship Toolkit: Examples for Program Implementation. While this toolkit was developed for hospitals, skilled nursing communities will also find this useful. Access the toolkit here.

In addition, CDPH/HAI will be posting on their website, a series of six webinars designed specifically for skilled nursing communities, throughout the year. For details on attending these webinars in person, click here.