R3 Report Issue 23: Antimicrobial Stewardship in Ambulatory Health Care

Effective January 1, 2020, new antimicrobial stewardship requirements will be applicable to Joint Commission-accredited ambulatory health care organizations that routinely prescribe antimicrobial medications. These include organizations providing medical or dental services, episodic care, occupational/worksite health, urgent/immediate care, or convenient care. The requirements are not applicable to ambulatory surgery centers or the office-based surgery program.

This project is a continuation of The Joint Commission’s initiative to promote antimicrobial stewardship in the hospital, critical access hospital, and nursing care center programs (see R3 Report Issue 8, October 19, 2016).

The inappropriate use of antimicrobial medications contributes to antibiotic resistance and adverse drug events, and improving antimicrobial prescribing practices is a patient safety priority. As a result, The Joint Commission has developed a new standard in the Medication Management (MM) chapter (Standard MM.09.01.03) with five new elements of performance (EPs) addressing antimicrobial stewardship in the ambulatory setting.

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