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Antibiotic Resistance

Improving Antibiotic Prescribing Among Hospitalists

Each year in the U.S., at least two million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, and at least 23,000 people die as a direct result of these infections. Evidence demonstrates that hospital-based antibiotic stewardship programs improve the treatment of infections and reduce side effects associated with antibiotic use. 1

SHM’s Fight the Resistance® Campaign

SHM promotes improved antibiotic prescribing among the nation’s hospitalists and developed the “Fight the Resistance®” awareness campaign as a complement to the Get Smart Campaign from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

Fight the Resistance® aims to facilitate culture change related to appropriate antibiotic prescribing by embracing three key strategies:  

  • It takes a team. Identify opportunities to engage with all hospital-based clinicians to improve antibiotic stewardship.
  • Don't Overprescribe. Support appropriate antibiotic choice, observe resistance patterns and identify mechanisms to educate providers on overprescribing in the hospital.
  • Rethink your antibiotic treatment time course. 

SHM has developed the above three strategies into posters that you can display in your hospital to help create high-impact reminders to open dialogue about improving antibiotic prescribing. View and download the posters within the Resources. 

SHM has also developed as part of this campaign, fact sheets that provide recommendations and tips around the three strategies noted above. View the fact sheets within the Resources. 

The Fight the Resistance® campaign is supported by a grant from Merck. 

SHM’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Guide

This guide equips hospitalists with tools to assess, redesign and implement a new antimicrobial stewardship program in the hospital using evidence-based strategies. 

It provides strategies that have been used successfully by hospitalists around the country to both promote more judicious antimicrobial prescribing and reduce antibiotic resistance in the community, including: 

  • Key principles that can apply to implementing and sustaining a quality improvement initiative
  • Intervention components for adoption and launch in the hospital
  • A comprehensive evaluation plan
  • Methods and approaches to maintain improvements 

Download Guide

Antibiotic Resistance Modules

SHM offers four educational modules addressing antibiotic stewardship.

1) Optimizing Antibiotic Use for Hospitalized Patients

Module one provides an introduction and overview of the best practices to optimize antibiotic use in three of the most commonly diagnosed conditions. The module reviews the evidence-based best practices regarding the appropriate use of antibiotics in respiratory infections, urinary tract infections and skin and soft tissue infections with the goal of reducing inappropriate prescribing for these commonly occurring conditions in the acute care setting.

2) Best Practices in Treatment of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): “Low-Hanging Fruit”

Module two reviews the best practices for treating UTI. The module was developed to assist the learner in differentiating asymptomatic bacteriuria from UTI and differentiating complicated from uncomplicated UTI and in selecting appropriate empiric therapy for uncomplicated UTI.

3) Best Practices in Acute Bacterial Skin Infection

Module three reviews the best practices in acute bacterial skin infection. The module provides guidance regarding the correct diagnosis of cellulitis as well as the preferred therapy for purulent and non-purulent cellulitis. The module includes two case studies to assist the learner in identifying appropriate diagnosis and therapy selection.

4) Antibiotic Use for Inpatient Respiratory Infections

Module four reviews the indications for antibiotic use for inpatient respiratory infections. The module assists the learner in applying appropriate diagnostic criteria for pneumonia to patients with respiratory symptoms. Additionally, the learning activity assists the learner with accurately risk stratifying patients according to their need for narrow versus broad -spectrum antimicrobial therapy, according to guidelines. Finally, the module reviews the diagnostic tools and clinical criteria which may be used to safely discontinue antimicrobial therapy when appropriate.