Antimicrobial stewardship: Another focus for patient safety?

Pranita D. Tamma, Alison Holmes, Elizabeth Dodds Ashley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of review This review describes the overlapping aspects of antimicrobial stewardship and patient-safety initiatives and justifies why stewardship belongs under the umbrella of patient safety. Recent findings Addressing the continued emergence of antibiotic resistance through the discovery of new drugs is not a sustainable strategy, particularly as antibiotics are increasingly more difficult and costly to develop. Thus, it is essential that we preserve the utility of existing antibiotics. Antimicrobial stewardship programs can assist with achieving this goal. Currently, however, the term 'antimicrobial stewardship' is generally not easily understood by regulators, hospital administrators, or the public. Perhaps more clout would be given to antimicrobial stewardship if it is associated with safety. In this review, we present concrete examples of how antimicrobial stewardship programs can focus on achieving goals already recognized as essential for patient safety. Summary Patient safety is an integral component of antimicrobial stewardship. To make the concept of antimicrobial stewardship more palatable, the association between antimicrobial stewardship and safety needs to be emphasized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-355
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent opinion in infectious diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Antibiotics
  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Antimicrobial stewardship
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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