Rhode Island Hospital and Miriam Hospital have each been designated as an Antimicrobial Stewardship Center of Excellence by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), an award that recognizes that the hospitals have created programs led by infectious diseases-trained physicians and pharmacists that advance antimicrobial resistance science.

The hospitals, by achieving standards aligned with evidence-based national guidelines, are among just145 programs worldwide to have received the Center of Excellence designation since IDSA launched the program in 2017. Both Lifespan hospitals were honored this year.

“Antimicrobial resistance is one of the greatest public health threats we face. Antibiotics are amazing and life-saving drugs but if used improperly, or when not needed, bacteria can develop ways to make our antibiotics ineffective. If we use our antibiotics judiciously, then we will be able to preserve these precious medications so they will be effective when needed,” said Cheston B. Cunha, MD, FACP, FIDSA, medical director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs at Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital. “Receiving this designation is an amazing honor and recognizes the hard work and dedication of our team and the entire hospital system to help combat antibiotic resistance and provide the best care and outcomes for our patients.”

The Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital has been active since the fall of 2014. The program works in concert with pharmacy, microbiology, infection control, and other hospital departments to improve the judicious and optimal use of antimicrobials. The program reviews antimicrobial use at both hospitals and its recommendations are directly communicated to medical teams to provide direct feedback and improve patient outcomes. 

Among the standards attained by the two hospitals are those included in the joint guidelines of IDSA and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America as well those established by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The core criteria for the Center of Excellence program place emphasis on an institution’s ability to implement stewardship protocols by integrating best practices to slow the emergence of resistance, optimize the treatment of infections and reduce adverse events associated with antibiotic use. A panel of IDSA member experts evaluate applications against high-level criteria established by IDSA for determining merit.

“Following a transformative year, antimicrobial resistance remains one of the greatest threats facing our future,” said Daniel P. McQuillen, MD, FIDSA, president of IDSA. “IDSA has never been more committed to combatting antimicrobial resistance at every level, and our dedication to public health worldwide has never been stronger. By honoring these institutions who have achieved high standards in their stewardship programs, we are building a community fighting antimicrobial resistance.”

The designation is further recognition of Lifespan’s commitment to responding to antimicrobial resistance. In 2018, Lifespan obtained a five-year $9.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to establish its Center for Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) for Antimicrobial Resistance and Therapeutic Discovery. The funding has allowed researchers at Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital to delve into the causes of antibiotic resistance and identify potential new drugs.

Richard Salit

Senior Public Relations Officer
The Miriam Hospital, Newport Hospital, Gateway Healthcare
[email protected]