Stanford Antimicrobial Safety and Sustainability Program

On average, approximately 60% of hospitalized patients receive an antibiotic and in an estimated one-half of cases antibiotic use is inappropriate. The latter is the result of administration of an antibiotic when none is indicated, the use of the wrong antibiotic, incorrect dosing, or an incorrect duration of administration. This can result in harm to the patient as a result of the receipt of inadequate treatment for his or her infection, direct toxic effects of the antibiotic, allergic reactions, and superinfection with resistant bacteria, as well as collateral damage such as the development of colitis due to the toxins of Clostridium difficile.

In addition, antibiotic use, both appropriate and inappropriate, has the potential for important societal harm as a result of the selective pressure it exerts upon the bacterial ecology with the resultant increased prevalence of antimicrobial resistance. In this regard, antibiotics are unlike any other class of medications because of the potential public health consequences of their selection of resistant bacteria, which may become dominant in the hospital and the community.

Stanford Health Care Receives the IDSA Antimicrobial Stewardship Centers of Excellence Designation

    Stanford Health Care has been awarded the designation of Antimicrobial Stewardship Centers of Excellence (CoE) by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). The CoE program recognizes institutions that have created stewardship programs led by infectious diseases physicians and ID-trained pharmacists that are of the highest quality and have achieved standards aligned with evidence-based national guidelines such as the IDSA-SHEA guidelines and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Core Elements. Stanford Health Care is one of 41 programs nationwide to have received the designation since the program’s launch in 2017.

    “Each year, more than 700,000 people worldwide die due to antimicrobial-resistant infections. Antimicrobial resistance is one of the greatest threats facing healthcare on a global, national and individual level. IDSA is committed to fighting antimicrobial resistance through its research, education, training, and policy efforts.

    IDSA is proud to partner with Institution and others that have received the Centers of Excellence designation in turning the tide against antimicrobial resistance,” said IDSA President Cynthia Sears, MD, FIDSA.

    The core criteria for the CoE program place emphasis on an institution’s ability to implement stewardship protocols to optimize the treatment of infections and reduce adverse events associated with antibiotic use leveraging electronic health record systems and providing ongoing education to help clinicians improve the quality of patient care and promote patient safety. A panel of esteemed IDSA member leaders evaluate CoE applications against core criteria to make recommendations for the designation. The panel is comprised of five ID-trained physicians and three ID-trained pharmacists with many years of expert stewardship experience.

Click here to learn more about the IDSA Antimicrobial Stewardship Centers of Excellence program.

About the IDSA

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) represents physicians, scientists and other health care professionals who specialize in infectious diseases.

IDSA’s purpose is to improve the health of individuals, communities, and society by promoting excellence in patient care, education, research, public health, and prevention relating to infectious diseases. 

Mission Statement

Our mission is the optimization of antimicrobial use in order to ensure patient safety and best possible clinical results.  To these ends, we work to make certain that antimicrobials are administered only when indicated and that the choice, dose, route, and duration of their administration is optimized in order to enhance patient outcomes while minimizing related adverse effects as well as the selection of microbial resistance. 

News and Announcements


SHC Celebrates Antibiotic Awareness Week!

Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die as a direct result of these infections.  Many more people die from other conditions that were complicated by an antibiotic-resistant infection.

During November 12-18, 2018 the annual U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week will be observed.  The observance is a key component of CDC's efforts to improve antibiotic stewardship. The once-week observance raises awareness of the threat of antibiotic resistance, which is driven by antimicrobial use, and the importance of appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use.  

Stanford Antimicrobial Safety and Sustainability (SASS), the SHC antimicrobial stewardship program, has as its goal assuring excellent patient care by optimization of the use of antimicrobials. This importantly includes not only the appropriate choice, dose and duration of antibiotic therapy, but assuring that antibiotics are not used at all when they are not indicated. SASS monitors antibiotic use throughout the hospital and, when necessary, intervenes to assure patient safety and favorable outcomes while reducing the antibiotic pressure that leads to resistance.


Stan Deresinski, MD presents at IDWeek 2018 in San Francisco - check out his lecture on "What's Hot in Infectious Diseases"!


Doctors Stan Deresinski and Marisa Holubar presented at the Medicine Grand Rounds on July 18. Check out their lecture, "Antimicrobial Stewardship: The Fierce Urgency of Now," on the Education page under Webinars/Lectures.


Vancomycin AUC go-live on June 19th!


Nasal MRSA PCR Go-live: Monday, May 7th!  Check out the Nasal MRSA PCR Information page and FAQ!


 In collaboration with our colleagues at WHO Europe, we developed a new, free online course demonstrating ASP principles for front-line providers.  Check it out!


Increasing Evidence of the Nephrotoxicity of Piperacillin/Tazobactam and Vancomycin Combination Therapy—What Is the Clinician to Do?


Bacteremia Due to MRSA: New Therapeutic Approaches (free download unil 8 July 2016)

Think twice about that fluoroquinolone prescription
The FDA has issued a drug safety communication warning about potentially disabling side effects associated with the use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics that “generally outweigh the benefits for patients with sinusitis, bronchitis, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections who have other treatment options”. These side effects can involve the tendons, muscles, joints, nerves and central nervous system. Even prior to the FDA warning, fluoroquinolones were either not indicated or were not first-line recommendations in the infections above. While the FDA warning pertains mostly to outpatient infections, it will remind clinicians to reconsider use of fluoroquinolones in both outpatient and inpatient settings.


Polymyxin B is now preferred over Colistin for infections due to MDR bacilli at SHC. See our guidebook for the Tip Sheet


Vancomycin per Pharmacy is now live at SHC