Tag Archives: Antibiotic Education

Patient Safety Is Jeopardized by Unnecessary Antibiotics

Like any medication, antibiotics carry certain risks. While they are critical to treating a wide range of conditions, from strep throat and urinary tract infections to bacterial pneumonia and sepsis, these drugs also increase a patient’s chances of developing Clostridium difficile infections—which can result in life-threatening diarrhea—and can lead to adverse drug events, including allergic reactions.

Because of these dangers, it is important to use antibiotics only when needed. However, many antibiotics prescribed in the United States are unnecessary.

See what the research tells us and what leading antibiotic use experts say about inappropriate prescribing, the threat it poses to patient health, and how improved antibiotic stewardship can help to protect patient safety.

Improving Outpatient Antibiotic Use: The Role of Pediatricians

“For a long time, we believed that ‘erring on the safe side’ for our patients might be to prescribe an antibiotic just in case, even when we weren’t completely certain of the diagnosis. … Increasingly, we’re realizing that ‘being on the safe side’ often means not prescribing an antibiotic.”

Adam Hersh, M.D., University of Utah, Primary Children’s Hospital

 

Improving Outpatient Antibiotic Use: The Role of Emergency Room Doctors

“Acute bronchitis is one of the very common conditions we see in the emergency department and it’s also one … for which we have the best evidence that antibiotics should not be used, as these infections are typically caused by viruses and will resolve on their own. … I’ve seen … patients that received antibiotics for simple bronchitis or sinusitis that probably didn’t need the antibiotic, and then came in with life-threatening diarrheal illness, known as C. difficile infection.”

Larissa May, M.D., University of California, Davis

 

Improving Outpatient Antibiotic Use: The Role of Pharmacists

“I’ve had patients with antibiotic-associated adverse drug reactions … serious ones, such as Stevens-Johnson’s syndrome and [the] development of C. difficile.”

Katie Suda, Pharm.D., M.S., University of Illinois, Chicago

 

Improving Outpatient Antibiotic Use: The Role of Primary Care Physicians

“There’s a misperception on the part of doctors that patients want antibiotics. … [There] are millions of individual visits where we’re doing the wrong thing by our patients. We’re giving them medicines that they don’t need.”

Jeff Linder, M.D., M.P.H., Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School

 

One study estimated that a 30 percent reduction in broad-spectrum antibiotic use in hospitals could result in a 26 percent reduction in hospital-associated C. difficile infections.

Improving Outpatient Antibiotic Use: The Role of Nurse Practitioners

“What is concerning is a lot of people think every sore throat is strep throat, and they want antibiotics. The reality is that most sore throats are not strep throat. It is important that we make sure that we don’t give antibiotics just for a viral sore throat. … If we continue to prescribe antibiotics inappropriately … we will get to a point where children are not responding to antibiotics. And that’s very scary.”

Teri Woo, Ph.D., National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

 

David Hyun, M.D., works on The Pew Charitable Trusts’ antibiotic resistance project.

 

To read the article in its entirety please click on the following link to be redirected:

https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/articles/2017/03/16/unnecessary-antibiotic-use-jeopardizes-patient-safety

IDSA and SHEA Release New Antibiotic Stewardship Guidelines

In The News

April 2016

Preauthorization of broad-spectrum antibiotics and prospective review after two or three days of treatment should form the cornerstone of antibiotic stewardship programs to ensure the right drug is prescribed at the right time for the right diagnosis. These are among the numerous recommendations included in new guidelines released by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

“Initially, antibiotic stewardship was more focused on cost savings, and physicians responded negatively to that, because they often felt it was best to give patients the newest, most expensive drug,” said Tamar Barlam, MD, lead co-author of the guidelines, director of the antibiotic stewardship program at Boston Medical Center and associate professor of medicine at Boston University Medical School. “While these programs do save hospitals money, their most important benefit is that they improve patient outcomes and reduce the emergence of antibiotic resistance. When we say stewardship, we really mean stewardship, and increasingly, doctors are realizing it’s important and necessary.”

The White House has called for hospitals and healthcare systems to implement antibiotic stewardship programs by 2020 to ensure appropriate use of these vital drugs and reduce resistance, an escalating problem that threatens the ability to effectively treat often life-threatening infections.

The new guidelines replace those originally created to help with the development of programs when antibiotic stewardship was in its infancy, and instead focus on specific strategies that the evidence suggests are most beneficial to ensure the program will be effective and sustainable. They also note it is key that these programs tailor interventions based on local issues, resources and expertise. To ensure that, the guidelines recommend the programs be led by physicians and pharmacists and rely on the expertise of infectious diseases specialists.

“We want hospital administrators to understand the importance of giving antibiotic stewardship their full support to ensure its success,” said Sara Cosgrove, MD, MS, lead co-author of the guidelines, president-elect of SHEA and associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University, and director of the antimicrobial stewardship program and associate hospital epidemiologist at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore. “Distributing a few brochures or holding grand rounds won’t do it. It’s vital that antibiotic stewardship be integrated into the hospital’s culture and that infectious disease specialists guide strategies that have been shown to work.”

The guidelines note that more research needs to be done to determine how to ensure antibiotic stewardship is most effective. However, the best evidence to date suggests a number of components, including the following, will help ensure the implementation of an effective antibiotic stewardship program.

  • Preauthorization or prospective audit and feedback – Targeted antibiotics, such as those that treat emerging drug-resistant bacterial infections, should require preauthorization. This means providers need to get approval to use antibiotics before they are prescribed. Prospective audit and feedback can be an alternate strategy or combined with preauthorization. Prospective audit allows antibiotic stewards to engage the prescribing clinician after the antibiotic has been used, typically after two or three days, to optimize antibiotic treatments. Both methods can reduce antibiotic misuse and decrease the development of resistance. Hospitals should choose one or both of these methods as part of their program based on their local resources and expertise.
  • Syndrome-specific interventions – The guidelines recommend focused multifaceted interventions for the treatment of specific syndromes, rather than trying to improve treatment of all infections at once. For example, Dr. Barlam said those leading a hospital’s antibiotic stewardship program might take a close look at management of pneumonia during winter, including making recommendations to shorten the amount of time people are treated and switching to an oral agent more quickly, and then measuring the results of those interventions. In the fall, the program might focus on urinary tract infections and then several months later, switch to skin and soft tissue infections. “This method makes stewardship more manageable and provides a targeted and clear treatment message rather than trying to disseminate 100 different lessons at the same time,” she said.
  • Rapid diagnostic testing – The guidelines note that rapid diagnostic testing of respiratory specimens can help determine if the cause is viral and therefore reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics. They also note that the rapid testing of blood cultures in addition to conventional culture is helpful, but should be guided by the antibiotic stewardship team for maximum benefit to the patient.

Other recommendations include reducing the use of antibiotics associated with Clostridium difficile infection, implementing antibiotic time-outs and other strategies to encourage prescribers to perform routine reviews of regimens and using computerized clinical decision support if possible.

The guidelines do not recommend relying solely on passive educational materials to implement antibiotic stewardship because any improvement likely will not be sustained. Lectures and brochures should be used to supplement strategies such as antibiotic preauthorization and prospective audit and feedback, the authors note.

AT A GLANCE

  • Preauthorization and prospective review of antibiotics are among the many recommendations to ensure antibiotic stewardship programs are most effective, suggest new guidelines from IDSA/SHEA.
  • Antibiotic stewardship programs should be led by physicians and pharmacists, including ID specialists, who have the expertise and education to ensure the right drug is being prescribed at the right time for the right diagnosis.
  • Antibiotic stewardship programs must be based on the specific problems identified by the healthcare facility and a realistic examination of available resources to ensure interventions are performed with consistency.
  • These programs have been shown to improve patient outcomes, reduce antibiotic resistance and save money.

In addition to Drs. Barlam and Cosgrove, the antibiotic stewardship program guidelines panel includes: Lilian Abbo, Conan MacDougall, Audrey N. Schuetz, Ed Septimus, Arjun Srinivasan, Timothy Dellit, Yngve T. Falck-Ytter, Neil Fishman, Cindy W. Hamilton, Timothy C. Jenkins, Pamela A. Lipsett, Preeti N. Malani, Larissa S. May, Gregory J. Moran, Melinda M. Neuhauser, Jason Newland, Christopher A. Ohl, Matthew Samore, Susan Seo and Kavita K. Trivedi.

IDSA and SHEA individually have published myriad treatment guidelines and together have published several, including the prevention of healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial prophylaxis in surgery.

As with other IDSA and SHEA guidelines, the antibiotic stewardship guidelines will be available in a smartphone format and a pocket-sized quick-reference edition.

The full guidelines are available free on the

IDSA website at http://www.idsociety.org

 

SHEA website at http://www.shea-online.org.

 

To read this article in its entirety click  on the following link:

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-04/idso-nas041216.php

 

Using Antibiotics Wisely, How Everyone Can Help In the Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance Worldwide

Did you have the opportunity to listen  to the live broadcast on “C. diff. Spores and More Global Broadcasting Network”  on Tuesday, February 9th, 2016 with guests Dr. Lori Hicks and Dr. Arjun Srinivasan from  the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ?

Dr. Hicks and Dr. Srinivasan discussed how to use antibiotics wisely and how everyone can help in the fight against antibiotic-resistance.

This important  information  is now available to you on demand by clicking directly on the logo below

 

cdiffRadioLogoMarch2015

For additional information on Inpatient Antibiotic Stewardship please click on the following link:

http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/healthcare/inpatient-stewardship.html

 

To access the CDC Get Smart Program, please click on the following link to be redirected:

http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/index.html

 

 

C. diff. Spores and More” programming is brought to you by VoiceAmerica  and sponsored by Clorox Healthcare

For more information please visit the C. diff. Spores and More program page:

https://cdifffoundation.org/c-diff-radio/