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Announcements: Get Smart About Antibiotics Week --- November 14--20, 2011

During November 14--20, 2011, CDC and its public health and professional partners will observe Get Smart About Antibiotics Week. This year's observance will celebrate the significant reduction achieved in inappropriate antibiotic use for certain acute respiratory infections among children aged ≤14 years from 1993 to 2008 (1). Infections with resistant bacteria have become more common in health-care and community settings, and many bacteria have become resistant to multiple antibiotics. Appropriate antibiotic use is a key strategy to prevent antibiotic resistance and preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics.

CDC is assisting partners in continuing to promote appropriate antibiotic use in inpatient and outpatient settings. Improving antibiotic selection and use has many important benefits, including better infection cure rates, fewer side effects, and reduced antibiotic resistance. CDC also is announcing a new antibiotic-use tracking system that is part of the National Healthcare Safety Network. The system allows health-care facilities to report antibiotic use electronically, make better decisions about how to improve use, and compare themselves with other health-care facilities. Additionally, CDC and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement are pilot testing a stewardship driver diagram and change package in eight U.S. hospitals. These tools will help hospitals implement interventions to improve antibiotic use.

Efforts to promote appropriate antibiotic use by persons, community groups, and organizations are imperative (2). Consumers, health-care providers, hospital administrators, and policy makers must work together to use effective strategies for improving antibiotic use. Implementation of effective strategies will save money, improve health, and ultimately save lives. CDC's Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work (http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart) and Get Smart for Healthcare (http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/healthcare) programs are designed to educate consumers and health-care providers about appropriate use of antibiotics. Information regarding Get Smart About Antibiotics Week and how to participate is available at http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart.

References

  1. CDC. Office-related antibiotic prescribing for persons aged ≤14 years---United States, 1993--1994 to 2007--2008. MMWR 2011;60:1153--6.
  2. Weiss K, Blais R, Fortin A, Lantin S, Gaude M. Impact of a multipronged education strategy on antibiotic prescribing in Quebec, Canada. Clin Infect Dis 2011;53:433--9.


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