FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kirsten Pfotenhauer, Communications Manager
Longmont United Hospital Participates in “Antimicrobial Stewardship
Collaborative” to Promote the Judicious Use of Antibiotics
Last year, Longmont United Hospital signed up to participate in the Colorado
Hospital Association (CHA)’s “Antimicrobial Stewardship Collaborate”
– a two-year effort focused on increasing the appropriate treatment
for urinary tract infections (UTIs) and skin and soft tissue infections
(SSTIs) by correctly prescribing antibiotics. While antibiotics are an
essential tool for fighting bacterial infections, when they are used indiscriminately
or for too long of a time, they can destroy many of the good bacteria
in a patient’s intestines, leaving the patient at risk for developing
Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) , a bacterium that can cause symptoms
ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon. Antibiotic
overuse has also led to the evolution of more antibiotic-resistant bacteria
– or “superbugs” – that are surfacing in health
care facilities around the world.
Longmont United Hospital’s participation in this program is led by
the Antimicrobial Stewardship Committee, a multidisciplinary team led
by Dr. Patricia Gill, the physician champion, and Ri Holbrook, the pharmacist
champion, with participation of members from the Quality, Infection Control,
Informatics, and Microbiology Lab. It is focused in the Emergency Department,
Medical and Surgical Care Units, as well as the Intensive Care Unit.
“We have learned a lot from this program in the past year and are
already starting to see improvements in the amount of antibiotics prescribed
and the duration for which they are prescribed,” said Dr. Gill,
“We know that this is a difficult change to make, but we are committed
to this process because we know it will reduce the exposure to antibiotics
for our patients.”
Longmont United Hospital is one of 26 hospitals from around Colorado participating
in the CHA Antibiotic Stewardship Collaborative and is committed to making
appropriate changes to these clinical practices to improve patient safety.
Longmont United Hospital has participated in numerous webinars, site visits
and meetings to learn from national experts and colleagues about this issue.
During the first year of focused work on the issue, Longmont United Hospital
saw the following improvements:
- Fewer patients are treated with a class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones
for urinary tract infections. This class of antibiotics includes ciprofloxacin
(Cipro®) and levofloxacin (Levaquin®). They can cause serious
side effects. These antibiotics also put patients at a higher risk for
developing serious diarrheas. In addition, they are becoming less effective
due to rapid development of bacteria resistance.
- Fewer patients receive multiple antibiotics for skin and soft tissue infections.
Antibiotic regimens are chosen more prudently to effectively treat the
infections also minimize patients’ exposure to unnecessary antibiotics.
- More patients receive shorter courses of antibiotics. The duration of antibiotic
treatment is carefully assessed in each patient with the goal of preventing
recurrence of the infection and minimizing the patient’s exposure
to prolonged antibiotic treatment.
The Collaborative is part of a growing body of work to address the issue
of antibiotic and antimicrobial stewardship, including efforts by the
Centers for Disease Control and the White House.
About Longmont United Hospital
Longmont United Hospital is a non-profit community hospital affiliated with Centura Health with
specialty areas in Women’s & Children's Services, Cardiology,
Comprehensive Surgical Services, Cancer Care, Trauma Services, Transitional
Care and Acute Medical Services. It offers quality inpatient and outpatient
healthcare services including Physician Services and a 24-hour Emergency
Department. The Emergency Department is a Level III trauma center that
has the capacity to treat approximately 45,000 patients each year. Further
information about Longmont United Hospital can be found at
About Centura Health
Centura Health connects individuals, families and neighborhoods across
Colorado and western Kansas with more than 6,000 physicians and 21,000
of the best hearts and minds in health care. Through its
17 hospitals,two senior living communities,
physician practices and clinics,
home care and hospice services, and
Flight For Life® Colorado, it is making the region’s best health care accessible and affordable
in every community it serves. Further information about Centura Health
can be found at www.centura.org.
About the Colorado Hospital Association
The Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) is the leading voice of Colorado’s
hospital and health system community. Representing more than 100 member
hospitals and health systems throughout the state, CHA serves as a trusted,
credible and reliable resource on health issues, hospital data and trends
for its members, media, policymakers and the general public. Through CHA,
Colorado’s hospitals and health systems work together in their shared
commitment to improve health and health care in Colorado. Learn more at