And patients need to be educated, too.
“It takes a minute to write that prescription and probably 15 or 20 minutes not to write it,” Dr. Fishman says. “We need to educate patients about potential complications of antibiotics use, as well as the signs and symptoms of infection.”
The CDC report is a call to action for all healthcare providers to consider how they can become better antibiotic stewards. There are very few new antibiotics on the market and little in the pipeline. All providers must do what they can to preserve the antibiotics we currently have, Dr. Fishman says.
“There is opportunity, and I think hospitalists are up to the challenge,” Dr. Flanders says. “They are doing lots of work to improve quality across lots of domains in their hospitals. I think this is an area where attention is deserved.”
Kelly April Tyrrell is a freelance writer in Madison, Wis.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Vital signs: improving antibiotic use among hospitalized patients. Available at: www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6309a4.htm?s_cid=mm6309a4_w. Accessed August 31, 2014.
- Flanders SA, Saint S. Why does antrimicrobial overuse in hospitalized patients persist? JAMA Internal Medicine online. Available at: http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1838720. Accessed August 31, 2014.
- Dellit TH, Owens RC, McGowan JE, et al. Clinical Infectious Diseases online. Available at: http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/44/2/159.full. Accessed August 31, 2014.
- Gerber JS, Prasad PA, Fiks A, et al. Effect of an outpatient antimicrobial stewardship intervention on broad-spectrum antibiotic prescribing by primary care pediatricians. JAMA. 2013;309(22):2345-2352.