Antibiotic Support Team (AST)
The Antibiotic Support Team (AST) is the front-line, patient care service of CAUSE. AST is the primary mechanism by which prospective audit and feedback is provided within the antimicrobial stewardship program. It is empowered by CAUSE, the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, and hospital leadership.
Optimize antimicrobial prescribing and administration at the level of the individual patient in an effort to improve patient safety and outcomes, impede antimicrobial resistance, educate clinicians, and reduce excess expenditures.
AST is staffed by an infectious diseases pharmacist with oversight by an infectious diseases physician. AST may be staffed by more than one pharmacist, depending on availability.
Criteria have been established for screening patients at WFBMC whose antimicrobial therapy may be optimized. Generally, AST rounds consist of collecting data by examining the medical record, determining the antimicrobial needs of the patient, making assessments to improve antimicrobial therapy, and providing recommendations to the primary patient care team as necessary. Various screening tools are used by the AST to identify candidate patients, including a sterile site culture report and a report of patients on antimicrobials.
Interventions made by the team are prospectively recorded and evaluated. Assessments regarding the impact on patient outcomes, antimicrobial resistance, and cost savings and avoidance are completed. A formal analysis of these assessments are presented to the CAUSE Advisory Board on a periodic basis.