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Be Antibiotics Aware: Smart Use, Best Care

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The May session of Grand Rounds “Be Antibiotics Aware: Smart Use, Best Care,” was viewed in 14 foreign countries, 46 states, and the District of Columbia.

Antibiotics save millions of lives. Infectious bacterial diseases that were once deadly are now treatable with antibiotics. Unfortunately, 30 percent of antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary and potentially dangerous. Antibiotics can cause side-effects ranging from mild to severe. Antibiotic resistance is a serious public health issue. Each year around 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths are caused by antibiotic resistant infections in the US.

Our speakers will discuss efforts to measure and improve antibiotic prescribing through antibiotic stewardship so that these medications are only prescribed when needed. Antibiotic stewardship also aims to ensure that the right antibiotic, dose, and duration are selected when they are needed. Join us to hear lessons learned from improving antibiotic use in pediatrics, and what providers and health systems can do to improve use for adults.

Beyond the Data- Be Antibiotics Aware: Smart Use, Best Care

Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem in the United States and across the world. Dr. John Iskander and Dr. Katherine Fleming-Dutra discuss when antibiotics are and are not needed for common infections and the potential harms of using antibiotics.

Protecting Yourself and Your Family

Efforts to prevent antibiotic resistance build on the foundation of proven public health strategies. Use these links to learn how you can protect both you and your family from antibiotic-resistant infections.

Audience Questions
I work. What I find in my everyday life is that family practice providers are somewhat more up to date on stewardship, but the general public, moms and dads in the burbs, don’t have a clue, and still have the bad habit of going to their doc and demanding an antibiotic for their kids after a couple of days, when clearly they have something viral going on that will clear with time. What is being done about this common theme? Or is this not a big deal?

Educating the public and patients is an important strategy to combat antibiotic resistance and improve antibiotic use. CDC has led educational efforts to improve antibiotic use since 1995. CDC’s Be Antibiotics Aware: Smart Use, Best Care is a national educational effort to help fight antibiotic resistance and improve antibiotic prescribing and use. Additionally, clinicians worry that patients and parents expect antibiotics, and often when clinicians think the patients or parents want antibiotics, they are more likely to prescribe them. However, clinicians are not always good at determining which patients want antibiotics. When antibiotics are not needed, most patients can still be satisfied without antibiotics, even if the patient walks into the office expecting them, if the clinician can effectively communicate the following points. First, review the physical examination findings, particularly what is reassuring. Second, deliver a clear diagnosis. Third, discuss that antibiotics are not needed, and then pair that statement with recommendations on how the patient can feel better. Fourth, discuss when the patient should come back or seek medical care if they aren’t getting better or are getting worse. Communication training for clinicians can help them deliver these messages efficiently in a way that can reduce unnecessary antibiotic use, provide the right quality care, and keep the patients and parents satisfied with their care.

Hello, I wanted to have additional information on what you would recommend as “incentives” for providers to implement antibiotic stewardship policies?

In the example from the American Academy of Pediatrics provided during Dr. Hyun’s talk, the participating clinicians are receiving both continuing medical education and maintenance of certification credit as an incentive to participate in the program. Additionally, measures about appropriate antibiotic use are currently part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Merit-based Incentive Payment System and implementation of antibiotic stewardship is an improvement activity. For more information, please see http://qpp.cms.govexternal icon.

Presented By
Katherine Fleming-Dutra, MD, FAAP
Deputy Director
Office of Antibiotic Stewardship
Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention
"The Case for Antibiotic Stewardship"
Jeffrey Linder, MD, MPH, FACP
Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics
Michael A. Gertz Professor of Medicine
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
"Improving Antibiotic Prescribing for Adults"
David Hyun, MD
Senior Officer
Antibiotic Resistance Project
The Pew Charitable Trusts
"Antibiotic Stewardship Policies"
Facilitated By
John Iskander, MD, MPH
Scientific Director
Phoebe Thorpe, MD, MPH
Deputy Scientific Director
Susan Laird, MSN, RN
Communications Director
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Continuing Education

This session is available for Continuing Education (CE). Register here using the course information below.

CDC Course Code: PHGR10
CPE UAN: 0387-0000-18-101-L04-P

For more information, see Grand Rounds Continuing Education.

Page last reviewed: May 18, 2018
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