In March 2015 the White House released the National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria to guide public health officials in limiting the emergence of antimicrobial-resistant organisms. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) Get Smart About Antibiotics program provides information and tools to physicians and providers on optimal use of antibiotics according to evidence-based clinical guidelines. The program also helps educate patients on the appropriate use of antibiotics.
This week is Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, a time to raise awareness of appropriate antibiotic use and prescribing and to urge physicians to evaluate their practices and identify opportunities for improvement. Here are some steps every prescriber can take:
- Educate yourself and your patients about the importance of appropriate use of antibiotics and the recommendations in evidence-based clinical practice guidelines.
- Use antibiotics only when indicated to treat bacterial infections. Antibiotics have no beneficial effect on viral infections, may be associated with adverse events requiring additional health care, and pre-dispose people to superinfection with resistant bacteria including C. difficile diarrhea.
- Use diagnostic tests to identify bacterial infections before initiating antibiotics. An example would be Group A streptococcal testing in patients with pharyngitis.
- Administer vaccines by age and health condition.
- When using antibiotics, take an "antibiotic time out" at 48 to 72 hours (an opportunity to reassess patient status) to determine if antibiotics are still indicated.
For more information, visit the CDC website. And read CDC's Core Elements of Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship.
Action, Nov. 15, 2016
Last Updated On
November 15, 2016