New, revised antimicrobial stewardship requirements for ambulatory health care organizations introduced

Updated standards detailed in new R3 Report from The Joint Commission Thursday, June 20 2019

Maureen Lyons
Corporate Communications

(OAKBROOK TERRACE, Illinois, June 20, 2019) – Effective January 1, 2020, new antimicrobial stewardship requirements will be applicable to Joint Commission-accredited ambulatory health care organizations that routinely prescribe antimicrobial medications. The rationale, references and requirements behind the updated standards are detailed in a new R3 Report: Antimicrobial Stewardship in Ambulatory Health Care from The Joint Commission.

This project is a continuation of The Joint Commission’s ongoing initiative to promote the appropriate use of antimicrobial medications in the hospital, critical access hospital and nursing care center programs.

With improving patient safety as its goal, The Joint Commission developed new requirements to help decrease misuse of antimicrobial medications, which contributes to antibiotic resistance and adverse drug events.  The new Medication Management standard includes five elements of performance (EPs) to address antimicrobial stewardship in the ambulatory setting.

The new EPs align with current recommendations from scientific and professional organizations and address the following concepts:

  • Identifying an antimicrobial stewardship leader
  • Establishing an annual antimicrobial stewardship goal
  • Implementing evidence-based practice guidelines related to the antimicrobial stewardship goal
  • Providing clinical staff with educational resources related to the antimicrobial stewardship goal
  • Collecting, analyzing, and reporting data related to the antimicrobial stewardship goal

In addition to an extensive literature review and public field review, The Joint Commission obtained expert guidance from a Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) and a Standards Review Panel (SRP).

The prepublication version of the antimicrobial stewardship requirements will be available on the Prepublications Standards section of The Joint Commission website until the end of December 2019.


About The Joint Commission
Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at



  • Ambulatory Health Care