Information below is from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
State and federal health officials are reminding health care providers to help protect antibiotics from the threat of growing resistance. Nov. 13-19, is “U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week.” It is a one-week observance led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to raise awareness across the U.S. of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use.
Since 2013, the CDC and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) have recognized a growing threat of antibiotic resistance. They have begun working with many partners across the state and nation to improve antibiotic stewardship in communities, in health care facilities, as well as on the farm. KDHE’s Healthcare-Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance Program is now implementing a comprehensive platform statewide.
State health officials are calling on all health care providers, including clinicians, pharmacists, dentists and health care facility administrators to be a part of the effort. According to data from the CDC, the total number of antibiotic prescriptions written in Kansas ranked among the highest nationally. In 2015, more than 900 antibiotic prescriptions were written per 1,000 individuals statewide.
In Kansas, a broad range of individuals, professionals, and organizations are working together to help educate the public and to support the health care community in adopting best practices to help stem the inappropriate use of antibiotics. A statewide advisory group is assisting KDHE in spearheading this effort. Antibiotic misuse is widespread and has dire patient and public health consequences. The CDC finds that more than one-third of all antibiotics used in the U.S. are either unnecessary or the antibiotic does not match the germ. Despite customer pressures, antibiotics are not needed for viruses, such as colds, most sore throats, and many sinus infections.
Antibiotic awareness does not mean stopping the use of antibiotics; it means changing the way antibiotics are prescribed and used today − when necessary and appropriate. More than two million people in the U.S. get infections that are resistant to antibiotics. Each year at least 23,000 people die as a result. If drug-resistant germs keep growing and if we lose the effectiveness of antibiotics, we may lose our ability to treat patients who need them.
Leadership support is critical to the success of antibiotic stewardship programs in all health care settings and can take a number of forms, including formal statements of support to improve and monitor antibiotic use, supporting training and education, and ensuring staff are given sufficient time to contribute to stewardship activities.
Key recommendations to safeguard antibiotics include:
Contact KDHE for resources and support for developing an antibiotic stewardship program within your facility.
To learn more about antibiotic resistance and U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week, visit the CDC website.
Antibiotic Stewardship is a coordinated program that "promotes the appropriate use of antimicrobials (including antibiotics), improved patient outcomes, reduction of microbial resistance, and decreases the spread of infections caused by multidrug-resistant organisms" (Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, APIC).
NCH has an antibiotic stewardship committee comprised of staff that began July 5, 2017. The mission statement of this committee: The primary mission of antibiotic stewardship is to promote optimal antibiotic therapy in order to improve patient safety at Norton County Hospital and Norton Medical Clinic.
Types of items monitored by this committee include:
To date, this committee has monitored both inpatient and outpatient antibiotic prescribing practices among our own providers. We have put into place “soft stops” on antibiotics orders, which prompts providers to check the duration of the antibiotic for appropriate therapy. Currently, we are focusing on order sets for certain illness such as pneumonia, urinary tract infection and others. This will ensure the appropriate antibiotic therapy is prescribed universally. The committee has also provided education to the public through posters in outpatient areas and the providers have been provided with script pads that they can give patients that has education and instructions on what to do if they have an illness that does not require an antibiotic. Click to see an example of this script.
Multi-drug resistant organisms have increased over recent years. More and more organisms are becoming resistant to antibiotics for multiple reasons. One of those reasons is inappropriate antibiotic use, including unnecessary antibiotic prescribing and/or not taking the antibiotic as prescribed for the length of time prescribed.
In simpler terms, we are protecting antibiotics so that they are available for future use.