The Joint Commission Antibiotic Stewardship Standards

Leaders establish antimicrobial stewardship as an organizational priority.


The hospital educates staff and licensed independent practitioners involved in antimicrobial ordering, dispensing, administration, and monitoring about antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial stewardship practices. Education occurs upon hire or granting of initial privileges and periodically thereafter, based on organizational need.


The hospital educates patients, and their families as needed regarding the appropriate use of antimicrobial medications, including antibiotics.

Multidisciplinary Team

The hospital has an antimicrobial stewardship multidisciplinary team that includes the following members, when available in the setting:

- Infectious disease physician
- Infection preventionist
- Pharmacist(s)
- Practitioner

Core Elements

The hospital’s antimicrobial stewardship program includes the following core elements:

- Leadership commitment: Dedicating necessary human, financial, and information technology resources.
- Accountability: Appointing a single leader responsible for program outcomes
- Drug expertise: Appointing a single pharmacist leader responsible for working to improve antibiotic use
- Action: Implementing recommended actions, such as systemic evaluation of ongoing treatment need, after a set initial treatment period
- Tracking: Monitoring the antimicrobial stewardship program, which may include information on antibiotic prescribing and resistance patterns
- Reporting: Regularly reporting information on the antimicrobial stewardship program, which may include information on antibiotic use and resistance, to doctors, nurses, and relevant staff
- Education: Educating practitioners, staff, and patients on the antimicrobial program, which may include information on antibiotic use and resistance, to doctors, nurses, and relevant staff
The hospital’s antimicrobial stewardship program uses organization-approved multidisciplinary protocols.
The hospital collects, analyzes, and reports data on its antimicrobial stewardship program.
The hospital takes action on improvement opportunities identified in its antimicrobial stewardship program.

The Joint Commission Standards