Antimicrobial Stewardship

What Are Antimicrobials?

Antimicrobials are drugs used to treat infections.

  • They include antivirals, antifungals, and antibiotics.
  • Antibiotics are a class of drugs active against bacteria and are often the most common group of antimicrobials used to treat bacterial infections.

Important to understand the role of antibiotics and other antimicrobials in treating infections, including:

  • Common classes of antibiotics and how they vary in spectrum of activity.
  • The difference between prophylactic, empiric, and therapeutic use of antimicrobials.
  • The relationship between antimicrobial use and the emergence of resistance.
  • Strategies to optimize the treatment of bacterial infections while reducing harm and adverse events from these drugs (i.e., antibiotic stewardship).
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What Is Antimicrobial Stewardship?

Antimicrobial stewardship is a coordinated program that promotes the appropriate use of antimicrobials (including antibiotics), improves patient outcomes, reduces microbial resistance, and decreases the spread of infections caused by multidrug-resistant organisms. 

Why Is It Important?

Optimizing the use of antibiotics is critical to effectively treat infections, protect patients/residents from harms caused by unnecessary antibiotic use, and combat antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic stewardship programs can help clinicians improve clinical outcomes and minimize harms by improving antibiotic prescribing.

Antimicrobial Stewardship and You

What does Antimicrobial Stewardship mean to me?

  • Antimicrobial stewardship programs benefit you and your family/friends.
  • The improper usage of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic-resistant infections. Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people get serious infections with bacteria that are antibiotic-resistant and at least 23,000 people die as a result of these infections.
  • Improper antibiotic use can cause bacteria to grow into superbugs, making your next infection much harder to treat. That’s why it’s so important for healthcare facilities to have antimicrobial stewardship program

What can I do to prevent antimicrobial resistance?

The best way to help prevent antimicrobial resistance is to learn the ABC’s of Antibiotics:

    • Ask your healthcare provider, “Are these antibiotics necessary?” 
    • Antibiotics do not kill viruses. They only kill bacteria. 
    • Complete the course.Take all of your antibiotics exactly as prescribed (even if you are feeling better).

Don’t pressure your healthcare provider for antibiotics. You do not need antibiotics for:

    • Colds or flu;
    • Most coughs or bronchitis;
    • Sore throats not caused by strep;
    • Runny noses; or
    • Most ear aches.




  • CDC’s Antibiotic Stewardship Training Series
    • CE available
    • 9 Modules
  • Your Guide to Infection Control and Prevention: A Webinar Series – Empowering Nurses to Protect Themselves and Their Patients: Nurses’ Role in Antibiotic Stewardship
    • CE available
  • Nursing Home Infection Prevention Training
    • Module 14: Antibiotic Stewardship in Nursing homes
    • Module 15: Infection Prevention and Antibiotic Stewardship Considerations During Care Transitions
    • Note: If you wish to earn continuing education (CME, CNE, or CEUs) you must first register for the Nursing Home Infection Preventionist Training Course: After registering for the Course, you must complete all 23 modules and submodules, a post-course evaluation, and pass a post-course examination.

  • Basic Antimicrobial Stewardship Training Program – consists of 4 parts. Parts 1, 2 and 3 are required on-line knowledge-based programs designed for practitioners initially getting involved in antimicrobial stewardship.
    • Part 1consists of 7 required lessons (8 CE hours), 
    • Part 2consists of 6 required lessons (5 CE hours) and 
    • Part 3consists of 7 elective lessons (range 2.5 to 3.5 CE hours for 3 lessons). The participant must complete at least 3 of these elective lessons. Additional electives may be completed (and CE earned) if the participant pays an additional fee of $25 per lesson. There are quizzes for each of the lessons and the learner must take and pass each one with a grade of 80% or better. 
    • Part 4of the program is a practicum, in which the learner completes a stewardship project/initiative at their place of practice. A description of the project is then submitted to a member of the MAD-ID Scientific Committee for review, processing and feedback (if necessary). The learner will earn 6 CE hours for Part 4.You will find directions for completing part 4 and typical examples at If all 4 parts are successfully completed, a certificate of completion is awarded.
  • Advanced Course: This program is designed to meet the ongoing educational needs for those practitioners who have stewardship practice experience and/or basic education and skills training in this area of practice. The entire didactic component is presented at the Annual Meeting (to view the entire Annual Meeting agenda and to register, click here). A practical component (completed at the participant’s place of practice) is still required. This Advanced Program will satisfy all ACPE requirements for certificate programs and will address such topics as stewardship application in specific settings and patient populations, collecting and analyzing stewardship metrics, and novel approaches to promote stewardship programs and initiatives. In addition to the opportunity to earn a certificate of completion, participants will earn up to 22 hours of continuing pharmacy or medical education (2.2 CEU)

  • Certificate programs:
    • Antimicrobial Stewardship Certificate Program for Acute Cate
    • Long-Term Care (LTC) Antimicrobial Stewardship Certificate Program

  • Antimicrobial Stewardship: A Competency-Based Approach
    • 15 Modules (approximately 8 hours)
    • Free Participation Certificate

  • Antibiotic Stewardship (offered by Stanford)
    • 4 Modules (approximately 6 hours)
    • Participation Certificate available for a fee

  • Antibiotic Stewardship Essentials
    • 4 Chapters (approximately 2 hours)
    • CME available for a fee (through July 29, 2023)