• Innovation in Action

Nov 3, 2021

Antibiotic Stewardship Core Element 7: Education of Clinicians and Patients and Families

Antibiotics. Medical Concept with Blured Background.

Core Element 7 of the Antibiotic Stewardship Programs (ASP) is the final element of the series. Education about causes and trends of antibiotic resistance and guidance on approaches to promote optimal prescribing are crucial to an effective ASP. Ongoing training opportunities should be available to physicians, pharmacists and nurses. Hospital and medical staff should also engage and provide education to patients and families.

Read through the examples of actions to support the education of clinicians and patients and families to see if your organization is on the right track.

1 Integrate regular updates on antibiotic stewardship and resistance into communications tools (e.g., blogs, website, intranet and employee newsletters).
2 Highlight system goals for antibiotic stewardship in educational programs and materials.
3 Integrate patient stories and narratives from doctors who altered prescribing habits after a patient suffered an adverse event.
1 Present antibiotic use and resistance data in grand rounds.
2 Targeted in-person or web-based educational presentations and messages to key provider groups at least annually.
3 Develop clear, concise educational messages that include concrete suggestions for actions to improve use.
4 Educate prescribers on antibiotic resistance data and interpretation of micro data.
5 Establish a collaborative that has coaching goals for hospitals and expert webinar presentations.
1 Participate in national stewardship efforts to raise awareness with employees and patients.
2 Focus educational content on quality and safety rather than cost savings.
3 Include information on antibiotic stewardship and resistance in required annual provider educational programs.
4 Include information on antibiotics in patient education materials.
5 Establish antibiotic stewardship curriculum in medical education and training.
6 Incorporate antibiotic stewardship elements into orientation for new medical staff.

Challenges to educating clinicians, patients and families could include lower prioritization of education because of time constraints, overwhelming amount of educational materials on antibiotic stewardship, a poorly engaged audience or difficulty measuring effectiveness. The ASP can be prepared to deal with those obstacles using these solution ideas.

  • Train stewardship champions from multiple disciplines to lead formal and informal education activities.
  • Require clinical education based on current knowledge and experience for all prescribers, with multiple offerings to fit schedules.
  • Create materials for staff, such as newsletters, posters and memos. Links to resources can be overwhelming.
  • Use specific case studies to engage providers.
  • Add patient narratives to case review where possible.
  • Engage patient advocates who have been directly affected by antibiotic resistance, especially for forums like grand rounds.
  • Measure response to education through post-tests or other knowledge assessments.