PMC Antibiotics Award

Polk Medical Center was recognized by state officials for their efforts to control antibiotics use and curtail the increase in resistant strains of bacteria in hospitals. / Contributed

Polk Medical Center has been awarded gold status on the Honor Roll for Antibiotic Stewardship by the Georgia Department of Public Health for its efforts to safely and effectively administer antibiotics.

The Georgia Honor Roll for Antibiotic Stewardship was established in 2014 to improve antimicrobial stewardship at critical access and acute care facilities statewide. Polk was already on the honor roll under Bronze status when the Gold, Silver and Bronze rankings began in 2017.

Antibiotic resistant bacteria pose a serious health risk, and overuse and misuse of antibiotics are partially to blame, said Christy Lindsey, a clinical pharmacist at Polk Medical Center and the lead pharmacist on the hospital’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Team.

The GDPH defines antibiotic stewardship as the practice of ensuring appropriate and judicious use of antibiotics to improve treatment of infectious disease while reducing the potential harms from misuse and overuse.

“Anytime we can develop plans to decrease resistance as well as patient risk in how we use and prescribe antibiotics - the Polk Medical Center Antimicrobial Stewardship team strives to meet these challenges head on," Lindsey said.

Hospitals must meet certain benchmarks in six categories, leadership commitment, accountability & drug expertise, action, tracking, reporting and education.

For renewal status this year, hospitals on the honor roll were grandfathered in as bronze status.

Polk applied for gold status and was awarded the upgrade based on our program’s accomplishments.