Considering the high rate of unnecessary antibiotic use, several pediatric health organizations have banded together to create new tools for health care providers in order to reduce these prescriptions and fight antibiotic resistance.

The Pediatric Antibiotic Stewardship Program Toolkit (www.pids.org/asp-toolkit.html), a joint effort of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and Health Care Without Harm, includes tools and resources for clinicians anywhere children receive medical care, from inpatient to outpatient settings, including urgent care and the emergency room.

“As much as 50 percent of all antibiotics prescribed in hospitals are thought to be either unnecessary or inappropriate, and estimates for other healthcare settings are alarmingly high as well,” said PIDS President Paul Spearman, MD, FPIDS, FAAP. “This toolkit collects essential resources for clinicians, antimicrobial stewardship teams, and others interested in improving pediatric care and public health by improving the use of these important medications.”

“It is vital that pediatricians and other pediatric health care providers work together to refine how we are prescribing antibiotics so these important medications are available and effective when needed,” said Kyle Yasuda, MD, FAAP, president of the AAP. “We hope this toolkit will serve as a catalyst for pediatric providers to launch new antibiotic stewardship programs, or to build on the work they’ve already begun.”

The easy-to-navigate online toolkit outlines key steps involved in establishing a comprehensive antibiotic stewardship program. These include building the case for such an effort, obtaining commitment from institutional leadership, developing a stewardship policy, forming a team, educating staff and patients, and determining how, and by whom, data on antibiotic prescribing and food purchasing will be collected and reported. Examples from existing programs are provided, in addition to core elements recommended for stewardship programs in the inpatient and outpatient settings.

Links to related efforts to combat antibiotic resistance at the global, national, and state level are included as well. Sections of the toolkit also address the use of vaccines to reduce antibiotic use, ways to prompt improvement in the use of antibiotics in the food we eat, and current knowledge gaps in the field of antibiotic stewardship that future research can explore.

The Pediatric Antibiotic Stewardship Program Toolkit is available online: www.pids.org/asp-toolkit.html

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The Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS) is the world’s largest professional organization of experts in the care and prevention of infectious diseases in children. PIDS membership includes leaders in clinical care, public health, academia, government, and industry who advocate for the improved health of children nationally and globally. The Society fulfills its mission through research, advocacy, guideline development, fellowship training, continuing medical education, its support of immunization practices in children, and the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, its peer-reviewed publication, which recently received its first Impact Factor. To learn more about PIDS, visit www.pids.org and follow PIDS on Facebook and Twitter.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is a non-profit professional organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists, and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety, and well-being of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. For more information, visit aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.

Health Care Without Harm seeks to transform health care worldwide so the sector reduces its environmental footprint and becomes a leader in the global movement for environmental health and justice. Health Care Without Harm is a founding member of Clinician Champions in Comprehensive Antibiotic Stewardship (CCCAS), a joint initiative that includes the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, Sharing Antimicrobial Reports for Pediatric Stewardship group, and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. Working closely with Health Care Without Harm, Practice Greenhealth is the leading membership and networking organization for sustainable health care, delivering environmental solutions to more than 1,100 U.S. hospitals and health systems. To learn more visit noharm.org and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.