Local health care facility receives gold recognition

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The Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at Tri-County Health Care is comprised of medical professionals from several different departments. They devise best practices for reducing antibiotic resistance in our communities.

Tri-County Health Care has received gold-level recognition on the Minnesota Antibiotic Stewardship Acute Care and Critical Access Honor Roll. This program promotes appropriate antibiotic use initiatives designed to stop antimicrobial resistance. 

There are three levels of recognition for the honor roll. Bronze for commitment, silver for action, and gold represents collaboration. Gold level hospitals also achieve the silver and bronze requirements. The honor roll list is compiled and awarded annually by the Minnesota Department of Health.

An activity of special note for the organization is the use of a MRSA PCR-based nasal screening process that has led to a decrease in the use of vancomycin. Also, the Antimicrobial Stewardship Team at Tri-County Health Care created employee and patient education materials containing important information to increase awareness and reduce antimicrobial resistance. 

The physician leader for the project was Stephen Davis, MD, and the pharmacist leader was Michelle Hinojos, PharmD. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are at least 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections each year in the US, and more than 35,000 people die as a result. Optimizing the use of antibiotics is a patient safety priority, and the Tri-County Health Care Antimicrobial Stewardship Program plays a critical role in supporting appropriate antibiotic prescribing practices and reducing antibiotic resistance locally.