February 9, 2018 3:12 pm
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antibiotic resistance is one of the world’s most pressing public health problems. At least 30% of antibiotic courses prescribed in the outpatient setting are unnecessary, which means an antibiotic is actually not needed. The overuse of antibiotics is a major cause of increased drug-resistant bacteria, and Magnolia Regional Health Center (MRHC) is working to improve utilization in the facility.
Since September of 2017, members of the MRHC Antibiotic Stewardship Program (ASP) committee, composed of pharmacists, Infectious Disease and Internal Medicine physicians, medical residents, laboratory and microbiology specialists, Infection Control staff, and executive leadership, have been working together to combat the overuse of antibiotics throughout the health system.
“It is of the highest importance that we ensure the patients we serve get the best treatment for the infection they have,” said Ronny Humes, Chief Executive Officer at Magnolia Regional Health Center. “I commend our team on the work they are doing, which I am positive will make a huge impact on our community and region.”
The intent of the Antibiotic Stewardship Program is to improve patient outcomes by facilitating optimal treatment of infectious disease processes, improve patient safety by decreasing adverse events and potential toxicity of medications, and to educate providers, staff, and the community about good stewardship practices.
The committee has the ultimate goal of improving stewardship activities, monitoring outcome measures, and guiding antimicrobial use at our facility. This is accomplished in part by analyzing national and state data, which allows the committee to better understand trends in prescription patterns.
“Appropriate use of antibiotics will have a positive effect on the health of the community and reduce the number of infections caused by resistant micro-organisms,” said Dr. Jennifer Madeo, Infectious Disease Specialist at MRHC.
“This will preserve their effectiveness, making infections easier to treat, and lower the rate of adverse drug reactions, which could lead to organ damage including seizures. Excess antibiotics can kill the good bacteria in your body that works to enhance your immune system.”
Many efforts have already been made to ensure that appropriate processes and guidelines are being utilized regularly. Through an internal evaluation, the committee has been able to identify opportunities to introduce practice innovations and optimize resources. An intense data evaluation system has been put into place so committee members are able to identify and recognize problem areas.
The committee has attempted to increase awareness educational initiatives regarding statistics, best practices, and new data through peer instruction and distribution to patients and their family, community members, physicians, ancillary providers, and allied healthcare professionals.
Antibiotics do not always work, and when they don’t, your chances of longer lasting infections and a more severe illness increases tremendously. The Antibiotic Stewardship Program committee is continuing to work daily to ensure this doesn’t happen and that antibiotics utilized at Magnolia Regional Health Center are prescribed in a responsible and appropriate manner.
This post was written by Magnolia Regional Health Center