As long-term care practitioners are well aware, the use of antibiotics can have a negative impact on the health and safety of the frail elderly. Although many physicians are limiting what has been determined to be the unnecessary use of antibiotics, many others have not embraced the practice of “less is better”.
When a resident develops C-diff, candida infections or “super-bugs” there is often little we can do as practitioners to prevent a negative outcome. In an effort to assist in achieving the “less is better” goal, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched a pilot testing program designed to address this issue. The data collected by these organizations indicates that approximately 50% of antibiotic use in United States hospital systems is inappropriate. The pilot program “Driver Diagram and Change Package” will be piloted in eight hospitals in eight states of different sizes, areas of expertise and geographic locations willing to test the program.
This program is very exciting and will hopefully provide some new and important information on the appropriate use of antibiotics. Take a look at what your infection control program includes regarding the use of antibiotics. Are you a prudent practitioner or are there opportunities for improvement? Please access the IHI and CDC websites for additional information on this innovative pilot program and stay healthy!