The Duke Antimicrobial Stewardship Outreach Network, also known as DASON, is a sister program to DICON with the mission of promoting judicious use of antimicrobial therapy in community hospitals across the United States.

The Duke Antimicrobial Stewardship Outreach Network (DASON) was formed in 2013 and has since grown to include nearly 30 facilities.

DASON’s primary goals are threefold: 1) to improve quality of patient care, 2) to enhance patient safety, and 3) to promote judicious antimicrobial use for patients treated in community hospitals. Many, if not most, community hospitals in the United States lack sufficient resources and trained personnel who can devote the time and effort necessary to reduce ineffective, suboptimal, or unnecessary antimicrobial use in hospitalized patients. Such antimicrobial use is expensive and has the potential to cause patient harm directly (via adverse effects and healthcare-associated infections such as C difficile infection) and indirectly (via the promotion of widespread antimicrobial resistance).

In order to achieve its aims, DASON focuses on three primary areas of service: 1) data collection, analysis, feedback and integration, 2) educational initiatives, and 3) expert consultation. A liaison clinical pharmacist with special training in infectious diseases and prior experience in antimicrobial stewardship assists local pharmacy and clinical personnel in developing local stewardship activities. DASON staff members provide member hospitals with assistance in collecting meaningful standardized data on local antimicrobial use and microbial resistance. DASON physicians and pharmacists perform robust data analyses and create network-wide benchmarks allowing for comparison among community hospitals affiliated with DASON. By doing so, each member hospital can identify targets for improvement in stewardship.

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