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National Antibiotic Awareness Week: Mount Sinai leads with Antimicrobial Stewardship Program

This week (November 14-20, 2011) is National Antibiotic Awareness Week, aimed at promoting the prudent use of antimicrobials through the use of educational resources for professionals and the public. Experts believe that the majority of prescribed antibiotics are unnecessary, and this unnecessary use has resulted in the superbugs we now contend with on a daily basis.

Here at Mount Sinai Hospital, we realize that delivering the best and safest care to patients, means ensuring that they get the right antibiotics - when they need them and only when they need them.

As part of this effort, we invested in the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program (ASP) three years ago. Launched in February 2009 in the ICU, the program is the first and largest of its kind in Canada, and has safely and effectively reduced the use of antibiotics in fighting infections, thereby preserving their effectiveness for future generations. The ASP is a multidisciplinary team led by Dr. Andrew Morris of the Department of Medicine, and Dr. Sandra Nelson from Pharmacy. It includes pharmacists and physicians, and receives support throughout the Hospital, from Informatics to the Microbiology Laboratory, helping to target appropriate antibiotic use for each patient.

The ASP has been immensely successful and our Hospital’s program is now a national leader in the field. Stay tuned for more information about the extension of this program.

Click here for more information on National Antibiotic Awareness Week.