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Tri-County Health Care recognized for antibiotic stewardship

The Minnesota Department of Health recently recognized Tri-County Health Care as a 2018 Antibiotic Stewardship Honor Roll Bronze Level Honoree. The Honor Roll encourages health care facilities across the state to commit to antibiotic stewardship.

The Bronze Level indicates Tri-County's facility-wide commitment to antibiotic stewardship. This commitment is demonstrated by its Antimicrobial Stewardship Committee, which was created by Mark Carlson, Pharm.D., pharmacy director; Greg Smith, M.D., pathologist; Steve Davis, M.D., family practice physician; Cheryl Houselog, MT (ASCP), infection preventionist; and Michelle Hinojos, Pharm.D., staff pharmacist. Tri-County's next goal is to achieve the Honor Roll at the Silver Level, which involves monitoring antibiotic use, tracking and reporting, providing antibiotic education to patients and the public, and additional antibiotic stewardship interventions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls antibiotic resistance one of the world's most "pressing public health problems." It occurs when bacteria change in a way that reduces the effects of antibiotics. These bacteria survive and multiply, causing dangerous illnesses. Resistance is caused by overuse and misuse of antibiotics, which is why antibiotic stewardship in hospitals is critically important to improving patient outcomes.

"Antibiotic resistance is a global threat, and the CDC considers it to be one of their top concerns," Hinojos said. "I have always been passionate about the appropriate use of antibiotics and following their effectiveness with different types of infections. TCHC has been very supportive of our antibiotic stewardship committee, truly working to meet our mission of improving the health of the communities we serve. It is a privilege to be a part of TCHC, which continues to strive to provide exceptional patient care."