• Innovation in Action

Jun 30, 2021

Antibiotic Stewardship Core Element 3: Drug Expertise

Pharmacist filling prescription in pharmacy drugstore

Today’s Antibiotic Stewardship Programs (ASP) article will shift focus to Core Element 3: Drug Expertise. Dedicated staff with demonstrated drug expertise is crucial to the success of antibiotic stewardship. Selecting a pharmacist leader for your ASP provides the expertise and accountability needed for a high-quality program.

The pharmacist leader with expertise in antibiotic use should partner with the ASP physician champion to improve antibiotic use. Studies have recommended pharmacists with training in infectious diseases as effective leaders. Pharmacist leaders should also possess leadership skills, respect from peers and good team skills in addition to training in stewardship.

Read through the drug expertise examples below to see if your organization is on the right track.

ASP has a documented pharmacy leader with expertise in antibiotic stewardship. Pharmacists with postgraduate training in infectious diseases have been shown to be effective.
Provide training opportunities in antibiotic stewardship for a pharmacy leader
Pharmacy leader engages and trains other pharmacy staff in antibiotic use so there is a broad pharmacy stewardship workforce (e.g., emergency departments, intensive care, pharmacy and medical specialty pharmacists)


Challenges to incorporating drug expertise could include inability to find a qualified pharmacist or insufficient funding. The ASP can be prepared to deal with those obstacles using these solution ideas.

  • Consider offsite infectious disease support for pharmacy staff (for example, through telemedicine)

Provide leadership with evidence of the value proposition realized by ASPs (particularly pharmacy cost savings) and regulatory requirements

One Last Thing To Do:

Please click HERE after reading this story to answer these self-assessment questions.