Your Resource for HQIC Highlights and Learning Opportunities | Nov. 2021
Antibiotic Stewardship
U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week (November 18–24) is an annual observance that gives organizations the opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of appropriate antibiotic use. This work is especially important because, over the past 18 months, many facilities reported they saw an increase in antibiotic use across the continuum of care. While antibiotics remain a lifesaving intervention, they must be judicially used due to the risk of significant side effects and the role played in the development of antibiotic resistance.1,2

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and partners offer tools and resources (see The Flash section below) to help you assess your current antibiotic stewardship program, prioritize antibiotic stewardship opportunities for improvement, and decrease the incidence of antibiotic resistance within your patient population and the communities you serve. HSAG HQIC's group of experienced, certified, infection preventionists are available to assist if you have any questions or need additional support. You can contact them through your Quality Advisor or by emailing
It Figures—Data and Performance
The ratios in the table below indicate that, overall, HSAG HQIC Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) rates are improving but methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia rates are moving in the wrong direction. This mirrors what the CDC and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are seeing on a national level. You can find tools and resources to assist your facility in The Flash section of this newsletter. You may also reach out to your HSAG HQIC Quality Advisor or email for further assistance.

Visit the HSAG HQIC Quality Improvement Innovation Portal (QIIP) to view your HAI data by selecting the “Measure Category” of the HAI – MDRO section of the portal.
The Flash: Resources
Antibiotic Stewardship Tools and Resources
HSAG HQIC and the CDC offer several resources to assist your hospital. You can find further resources in the Infection Prevention section of the HSAG HQIC website.
Antibiotic Awareness Week November 18–24, Be Antibiotics Aware Partner Toolkit
This CDC toolkit includes key messages, a newsletter, social media posts, web images, public-service announcements, infographics, patient education, and healthcare professional resources. 
Core Elements of Antibiotic Stewardship in Resource-Limited Settings
From the CDC, this webpage offers a downloadable guide for implementing an antibiotic stewardship program in settings that have fragile health systems and lack robust, regulatory framework. 
Core Elements of Hospital Antibiotic Stewardship Programs
This CDC webpage explains the serious adverse effects that antibiotics can have and includes resources for a hospital stewardship program and a stewardship program assessment tool. 
Antibiotic Stewardship Core Elements at Small and Critical Access Hospitals
This CDC webpage provides guidance and a downloadable PDF on practical strategies to implement antibiotic stewardship programs for small and critical access hospitals. 
COVID-19 and Antibiotic Resistance
Antibiotic resistance is still a public health threat during the COVID-19 pandemic. This CDC webpage outlines the possible effects of COVID-19 on the national state of antibiotic resistance and use.  
Sepsis and Antibiotic Stewardship Across the Continuum of Care Webinars
The Sepsis Alliance offers a series of downloadable webinar recordings on sepsis and antibiotic stewardship. 
Critical Communication
Reminder: Quality During Crisis
To keep patients safe, even during crisis standards of care, hospitals must prioritize and commit to maintaining key patient safety best practices. This template is designed to assist hospitals in identifying and communicating these practices to maintain and ensure patient safety, even during times of crisis.
Events and Education
HSAG HQIC Quality and Safety Series
The Quality and Safety Series is designed to assist your organization in its quality improvement (QI) journey, from planning and preparation to sustaining gains.

The series, scheduled through the end of the calendar year, takes place the 2nd Tuesday of the month. These 30-minute-or-less "quickinars" are bite-size learning presentations that review the key skills necessary for you to function in the QI role or for other staff members who are participating in a QI initiative. The quickinars are intended as a basic foundation for the novice or as a skills refresher for the expert.
Quality and Safety Series 9: Voice of the Customer
Tuesday, November 9, 2021, 2–2:30 p.m. ET
Quality and Safety Series 10: Process Mapping
Tuesday, December 14, 2021, 2–2:30 p.m. ET
HSAG Opioid Stewardship Program
Join HSAG in an action-based “quickinar” series to provide tactics, strategies, and information needed for a successful opioid stewardship program (OSP).

The 11 opioid stewardship quickinars are short, 30-minute webinar presentations that began October 21 and run through May 2022.
Upcoming Topics:
Interpreting the OSP Assessment Results/Developing an Action Plan  
Thursday, November 18, 2021, 1:30–2 p.m. ET

Developing a Dashboard
Thursday, December 9, 2021, 1:30–2 p.m. ET
World-Wide Pressure Injury Prevention Day
Thursday, November 18, 2021
The National Pressure Injury Advisory Panel (NPIAP) proclaims this to be a day to increase awareness about pressure injury prevention and has developed an extensive media materials package for all healthcare settings.
1. CDC. Core Elements of Antibiotic Stewardship. 2021.
2. CDC. U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week (USAAW). 2021.
This material was prepared by Health Services Advisory Group (HSAG), a Hospital Quality Improvement Contractor (HQIC) under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Views expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the official views or policy of CMS or HHS, and any reference to a specific product or entity herein does not constitute endorsement of that product or entity by CMS or HHS. Publication No XS-HQIC-XT-10252021-2