GNYHA recently held two sessions of the GNYHA/UHF-developed Antibiotic Stewardship Certificate Program (ASP) for nursing home clinical staff and pharmacy consultants. The program, which has been in high demand, provides the necessary knowledge base and mentorship for nursing home facilities to develop or bring their existing ASP to the next level and ensure the proper use of antibiotics. Participants from 45 facilities joined a live webinar and in-person sessions led by expert faculty from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Duke University, Montefiore Medical Center, Nebraska Medicine, and Case Western University.

The program builds on the success of an ASP that GNYHA and UHF offered to hospitals in 2015–16. GNYHA and UHF have partnered with the New York State Council of Health System Pharmacists and expert faculty including Belinda Ostrowsky, MD, Field Medical Officer, New York CDC, and Elizabeth Dodds Ashley, PharmD, MHS, BCPS, Duke University, to develop the program. The two-day course includes topics such as appropriate antibiotic selection, dosing, switching, and discontinuing use to maximize the therapeutic benefits of antibiotics while minimizing risk to the nursing home resident population. Last summer, GNYHA and UHF redesigned the program to meet the needs of a nursing home audience and hosted more than 125 clinical staff from more than 45 nursing homes as part of an intensive certificate program to train nursing home pharmacists, physicians, and nurses in implementing and sustaining a facility-based ASP. Due to the overwhelming response from nursing homes, the program was held twice and again this winter.

The Need for Nursing Home ASP Support

This program supports nursing homes working to establish ASPs to help them better manage antibiotic use and address the growing concern that antibiotic resistance is contributing to increased infections and morbidity for their residents. Implementation of an ASP is also a Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services requirement that nursing homes must continually meet as part of their participation in Medicare.