An Update from the Rhode Island Department of Health

Fall 2016


November 14 to 20 is National Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, and in anticipation of this, RIDOH has some exciting updates to share about the progress we are making with antimicrobial stewardship efforts in the state.

In August, Commander Lauri Hicks, DO, Director of CDC’s Office of Antibiotic Stewardship, shared best practices and practical ideas for implementing and expanding antimicrobial stewardship programs at healthcare facilities. As many of you already know, healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) and antibiotic resistance pose a significant threat to our nation’s health. In Rhode Island, there are comparably higher rates of HAIs than in other states. Among one of our biggest challenges is our high rate of C-diff infections.

The meeting in August also marked the beginning of a shift in how we tackle antimicrobial stewardship in the state. We have created the Rhode Island Healthcare-Associated Infections Prevention and Antimicrobial Stewardship Coalition (Coalition) as a way to engage providers, executive administrators, and stakeholders in coordinating all of our individual efforts. The Coalition is comprised of two workgroups: the Education and Best Practices Workgroup, and the Leadership and Policy Workgroup.

The first meeting of the Education and Best Practices Workgroup is scheduled for December 7 from 8 a.m. to noon. The focus of this meeting will be to determine where individual facilities are with implementing CDC’s guidelines for antimicrobial stewardship and for infection prevention. Results of this discussion will be shared with the Leadership and Policy Workgroup in an effort to address existing barriers and needed resources.

Antimicrobial stewardship is an initiative that needs attention every day, every week, and every year. National Get Smart About Antibiotics Week should be a catalyst to learn more about things you can do in your day-to-day routine and at facilities where you see patients. Here are some links for useful information:

For any healthcare provider:

For pediatricians:

To share with parents: