Hospital Spotlight: Bronson Children’s Hospital Decreases Antibiotic Use in NICU

Posted on July 12, 2018

Hospital SpotlightAll babies have a risk for infection. However, premature babies have an increased risk due to an underdeveloped immune system and inability to fight off viruses and bacteria. Antibiotics are often used to treat or prevent infections. In fact, it is often routine to administer antibiotics for premature babies, despite no evidence of an infection.

Studies show that widespread use of antibiotics for premature infants is not required, and unnecessary antibiotic use can result in harmful short- and long-term health effects. Furthermore, using antibiotics without evidence of an infection can have adverse health effects and cause future antibiotic resistance.

Over the past two years, the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) antibiotic stewardship team at Bronson Children’s Hospital, Kalamazoo have developed a comprehensive approach to prevent unnecessary antibiotic exposure. It ensures each infant receives the correct antibiotics for the appropriate duration, while also educating families at the bedside.

Andrea Scheurer-Monaghan, MD, neonatologist, Bronson Children’s Hospital, accepting the Advancing Safe Care Award.The team’s primary goal has been to decrease the antibiotic utilization rate in the NICU by 10 percent, while keeping infections at bay. The team exceeded that goal, reaching a 26 percent reduction, without an increase in infections since 2016. A new goal is to achieve another 10 percent decrease by December 2018.

In addition, the team celebrated 500 consecutive infection-free days in early May and is continuing to discharge a growing number of infants with very low birth weights who never received a single dose of antibiotics.

Watch this video about the team and its efforts to improve patient safety and quality in the NICU.

Advancing Safe Care AwardThe NICU antibiotic stewardship team was recently honored with the first-ever MHA Advancing Safe Care Award during the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) Annual Membership Meeting on Mackinac Island.

The Advancing Safe Care Award recognizes healthcare teams within MHA-member hospitals who carry out four specific goals: lead the charge for quality improvement; promote transparency to improve healthcare; achieve better outcomes due to a strong culture of safety; and demonstrate a commitment to providing quality care to diverse patient populations.

The 2018 winning team includes Peg J. Malnight, MSN, RN, outcomes coordinator; Andrea M. Scheurer, MD, neonatologist; Jamie McCune, RN; and Shannon McLogan, PharmD, clinical pharmacist. Bronson’s leadership team, information technology staff and entire NICU staff also played a key role in making the program a success.  

This article was featured in the MHA Keystone Center Newsletter. To subscribe, please contact Ashley Sandborn, MHA Keystone Center communications specialist.


  • Hospital Spotlight: Bronson Children’s Hospital Decreases Antibiotic Use in NICU

Tags: MHA Keystone Center, Patient Safety and Quality, hospital antibiotic stewardship, Bronson

Posted in: Patient Safety and Quality

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