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Making Health Care Safer infographic

Specific recommendations for common prescribing situations

Every time antibiotics are prescribed:

  1. Icon: Microscope
    Text: Order recommended cultures before antibiotics are given and start drugs promptly. Order recommended cultures before antibiotics are given and start drugs promptly.
  2. Icon: Clipboard
    Text: Make sure indication, dose, and expected duration are specified in the patient record.
  3. Icon: Clock representing 48 hours.
    Text: Reassess within 48 hours and adjust Rx if necessary or stop Rx if indicated.

Specific recommendations for common prescribing situations:

Icon: Pill bottle representing a prescription for urinary tract infections
Text: Rx for urinary tract infections

  • Make sure that culture results represent true infection and not just colonization.
    • Assess patient for signs and symptoms of UTI.
    • Make sure that urinalysis is obtained with every urine culture.
  • Treat for recommended length of time and ensure that planned post-discharge treatment takes into account the antibiotics given in the hospital.

Icon: Lungs
Text: Rx for pneumonia

  • Make sure that symptoms truly represent pneumonia and not an alternate, non-infectious diagnosis.
  • Treat for the recommended length of time and ensure that planned post-discharge treatment takes into account the antibiotics given in the hospital.

Icon: An arm with a methicillin-susceptible staph infection
Text: Rx for MRSA infections

  • Verify that MRSA is growing in clinically relevant cultures. Do not use vancomycin to treat infections caused by methicillin-susceptible staph (and not MRSA).



Improving antibiotic prescribing in hospitals - Key moments for improving the cycle of antibiotic prescribing practices.


Improving antibiotic prescribing in hospitals: Key moments for improving the cycle of antibiotic prescribing practices.


Graphic 1: George is lying in blue hospital gown on a white hospital bed.
Text: While in the hospital for surgery, George develops a fever and feels pain when he urinates.

Graphic 2: George is talking to a hospital doctor about urine cultures for the hospital to look at under a microscope.
Text: The doctor thinks George has a urinary tract infection (UTI). Following the hospital’s UTI guideline, the doctor orders urine cultures to see if George has bacteria in his urinary tract (bladder, kidneys).

Graphic 3: A prescription bottle and a clock representing the time are noted on a clipboard.
Text: At the same time, the doctor prescribes antibiotics and includes the dose, duration, and indication in the patient record.

Graphic 4: The hospital doctor working with George reviews the clipboard.
Text: In keeping with the antibiotic stewardship policy, the doctor reassesses the prescription the next day. Based on test results and patient exam, she puts George on a better antibiotic for a shorter time.

Graphic 5: George is in his hospital bed talking to a different hospital doctor. The new doctor is reviewing the clipboard with the notes from the previous doctor.
Text: The doctor’s clear notes showing dose, duration, and indication gives other doctors and nurses information they needed to provide George with the best medical care.


 

 
  • Page last reviewed: March 4, 2014
  • Page last updated: March 4, 2014
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