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UW Medicine’s Tele-Antimicrobial Stewardship Program has won WSHA’s Community Health Leadership Silver Award. The program, launched in 2017, uses innovative communications technologies to connect professionals from 30 hospitals across the state to UW’s experts. The core of the program is a weekly hour-long virtual meeting, which includes a brief didactic and discussion of submitted cases. The program’s website is also a rich source of information, and the expert panel is available outside of the weekly meetings for more urgent questions.

Many health care organizations and regulatory bodies — including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — recommend that all hospitals, regardless of size, institute antimicrobial stewardship programs to foster appropriate use of antibiotics and prevent the spread of drug-resistant illnesses. For many small or rural hospitals, it can be a challenge to assemble this expertise in-house. UW Medicine launched its tele-antimicrobial stewardship program to share its expertise with these facilities.