Ingredients of an Effective Antibiotic Stewardship Program: Be Sure to Add Health IT and Medical Device Innovation
June 14th, 2012
Posted by Patti Doherty, R.N.
It is common knowledge that antibiotic resistance is on the rise. For example, infection with resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC), once found only in North Carolina, now plagues 37 states. While antibiotics are important tools, their overuse results in more antibiotic resistance cases such as KPC. In fact, suboptimal use of antibiotics may be as high as 68% of all applications in healthcare. Some researchers even suggest that overuse may force bacteria to mutate faster, creating an evolutionary trend of ever-increasing rates of antibiotic resistance.
Reducing antibiotic use can, in turn, reduce antibiotic resistance rates. Most overuse of antibiotics stems from inadequate instruction about bacterial resistance, improper use of broad-spectrum antibiotics when narrow-spectrum drugs are available, and unnecessarily long durations of treatment.
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