Antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed drugs, but up to a third of those prescribed in outpatient clinics are unnecessary, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While patients, healthcare facilities, and policy makers all have a role in addressing antibiotic use, physicians are crucial in responding to the threat of antibiotic resistance.
The key: Use the right antibiotic, at the right dose, for the right duration, and at the right time.
Antimicrobial stewardship programs are intended to limit inappropriate use and optimize therapy. These programs help physicians decide which antimicrobials to initiate and provide a course of the care for their patients.
When you make a commitment to responsible prescribing, let your patients know. Placing public commitments supporting antibiotic stewardship has been shown to reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions.1
The CDC has developed a poster to explain why antibiotic resistance is a problem and why you pledge to use antibiotics appropriately. Add your signature and your practice or facility’s logo, and hang in a patient exam room.
1. Meeker D, Knight TK, Friedberg MW et al. Nudging guideline-concordant antibiotic prescribing: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(3): 425-431.
Responding to antibiotic resistance takes a comprehensive approach. The CDC provides practical guidance on implanting strategies in different health care settings.
Follow these steps when prescribing:
Recommendations for Appropriate Antibiotic Prescribing