Educating Patients on Antimicrobial Medications

PUBLISHED: Jan 19, 2017

The Joint Commission (TJC’s) Medication Management standard 09.01.01 requires hospitals to have an antimicrobial stewardship program that is based on current scientific literature. MM.09.01.01 was effective January 1, 2017.

An element of performance within MM.09.01.01 requires that hospitals provide education to patients/families on the appropriate use of antimicrobial medications, including antibiotics. In a recent Joint Commission standard FAQ, TJC clarified that patient education is not required for all who are prescribed antimicrobials. According to TJC, “… patients receiving prescribed antimicrobials upon discharge from a hospital or ambulatory clinic (surveyed under the hospital program) are the only individuals who should be provided education on antimicrobial medications.”

TJC further clarifies that certain populations will be the focus of surveyors for this standard including:

  • Emergency department patients who are prescribed antimicrobials
  • Ambulatory and clinic patients surveyed under the hospital program who are prescribed antimicrobials
  • Hospitalized patients who will be discharged on antimicrobials

However, according to TJC, patients or family members are not going to be interviewed by surveyors regarding education provided on the appropriate use of prescribed antimicrobials.

TJC highlights the CDC education tool, You’ve Been Prescribed an Antibiotic Now What? as a helpful resource for hospitals. A link to that tool is provided below.

Also included with today’s notice is an example policy on discharge education for patients prescribed antimicrobial medications.

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