Widespread use of antimicrobials in human and veterinary medicine drives the emergence and dissemination of resistant bacteria in human, animal, and environmental reservoirs. The AVMA and FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine have both taken public positions emphasizing the importance of incorporating antimicrobial stewardship in veterinary clinical settings; however, a model for implementing a comprehensive antimicrobial stewardship program in veterinary practice is not readily available.
In 2015, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine began developing a veterinary antimicrobial stewardship program modeled on existing programs in human health-care institutions and the 7 core elements of a successful hospital antimicrobial stewardship program, as defined by the CDC. The program includes comprehensive antimicrobial use guidelines, active environmental surveillance, and enhanced infection control procedures in The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center, along with routine monitoring and reporting of antimicrobial prescribing practices and antimicrobial susceptibility patterns of common pathogens isolated from patients and the hospital environment. Finally, programs have been developed to educate clinicians, staff, and students on antimicrobial resistance and appropriate antimicrobial prescribing practices.
The antimicrobial stewardship program has been designed to help clinicians and students confidently make judicious antimicrobial use decisions and provide them with actionable steps that can help them act as strong stewards while providing the best care for their patients. This report describes our program and the process involved in developing it, with the intent that the program could serve as a potential model for other veterinary medical institutions.