Antimicrobial Stewardship Program

Baptist Health’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Program

The Antimicrobial Stewardship Program (ASP) at Baptist Health is a collaborative effort with Baptist Health Medical Group Infectious Disease, Clinical Pharmacy Services, Infection Prevention, and Laboratory Services. The ASP is committed to improving antimicrobial use to optimize clinical care of our patients and ensure these important treatments remain effective treatment options in the future. This is done through continuous education to the public and our staff on evidence-based practice in infectious disease which supports the mission of Baptist Health to provide quality healthcare by enhancing the health of the people and communities we serve.

Baptist Health’s program is responsible for identifying and implementing best practices of antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) to improve the optimal selection, dosage, route, and duration of antimicrobial treatment that results in the best clinical outcomes throughout Baptist Health facilities while minimizing the spread of resistance. 

What is an Antibiotic?

Antibiotics are medicines used to treat infections caused by bacteria. The antibiotics kill, or make it very difficult for the bacteria to multiply, thus helping the body’s immune system fight the infection. 

What is Antibiotic Resistance?

When an infection occurs in the body, such as a urinary tract infection, if it is left untreated it can lead to more serious conditions or “extreme” infection such as sepsis (inflammatory process in the body triggered to fight a severe infection). However, if antibiotics are used too frequently when they are not indicated, such as for asymptomatic bacteriuria or bacteria isolated in the urine without also having urinary symptoms, it can lead to antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria develop the ability to defeat the antibiotics used to treat them due to overuse. Antibiotics are then not effective in treating even the most common infections.

Do I Need Antibiotics for My Illness?

Antibiotics should only be used when needed. Some infections can resolve without the use of antibiotics. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses and should only be used to treat bacterial infections. Ask your healthcare provider for tips on how to relieve symptoms and feel better when an antibiotic is not needed. 

Some common respiratory infections that may require antibiotics include:

  • Strep Throat
  • Whooping Cough
  • Sinus Infection (maybe)
  • Middle Ear Infection (maybe)
  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) 

Some common respiratory infections that do not require antibiotics include:

  • Common Cold/Runny Nose
  • Flu
  • Bronchitis/Chest Cold (in otherwise healthy children and adults)
    Studies show that in otherwise healthy children and adults, antibiotics for bronchitis won’t help patients feel better
  • COVID-19
  • Sore throat (negative strep test)