Antibiotic stewardship at Tri-County

Antibiotic stewardship is very important.


Antibiotics are a miracle that save millions of lives every year. However, the overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic-resistant infections. Healthcare professionals need to be mindful of the use of these drugs at all times. Recently, Tri-County Health Care 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.

The tiers

This distinct honor is for those safeguarding our communities through the intelligent application of antimicrobial stewardship. 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 Minnesota Department of Health compiles and awards the honor roll list annually.

How we won

An activity of special note for the organization is the use of an MRSA PCR-based nasal screening process that has led to a decrease in the use of vancomycin. This procedure has reduced the need for intense rounds of antibiotics, which is beneficial for the health system and the surrounding community. 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. The duo and the rest of the team were ecstatic to learn of the achievement. Previously Tri-County Health Care had achieved the bronze level on the honor roll.

Elements of stewardship

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. The CDC breaks down antibiotic stewardship into several core elements:

Antibiotic stewardship is a group effort.

  • Hospital leadership
  • Accountability
  • Pharmacy expertise
  • Action
  • Tracking
  • Reporting
  • Education

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