The inappropriate use of antimicrobials results in the creation of resistant organisms and increases the overall costs of health care. In 2004, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in Japan issued a report on the current state of hospital infection control in Japan. The report mentioned that though 99.8% of 1,364 hospitals in Japan had an active infection control team, only 30.9% of them had guidelines for the appropriate use of antimicrobials.
We investigated the roles of infection control pharmacists (ICPs) at Nagoya University Hospital (NUH) in Japan and compared them with those of ICPs at Cedars Sinai Medical Center (CSMC) in the US with the aim of pinpointing activities of ICPs in Japan that need improvement. NUH is a 1,035-bed national acute tertiary care teaching hospital and CSMC a 900-bed private nonprofit acute tertiary care teaching hospital. The main duties of ICPs at CSMC are the development and implementation of guidelines for the use of antimicrobials, which are approved by the hospital's Executive Committee. The duties of ICPs at NUH are mostly the same as those at CSMC, and they also work on the prevention of nosocomial infection. However, there is still no approval system for the guidelines they draw up. In many hospitals in the US, such guidelines have resulted in cost benefits, and decreases in antimicrobial resistance and length of hospital stays. US systems will serve as a useful model for Japanese ICPs.
2006 Japanese Society of Pharmaceutical Health Care and Sciences