Inappropriate use of antibiotics can result in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which can cause devastating infections and death in people. However, if actions and interventions are implemented now, we can rewrite this story of resistance. According to the CDC, preventing these infections and improving antibiotic prescribing could save 37,000 lives from drug resistant infections over 5 years.
By reducing unnecessary antibiotic use, we can decrease antibiotic resistance, deadly diarrhea (Clostridium difficile) infections, healthcare costs, and improve patient outcomes. Now more than ever is the time for public health authorities and health care facilities to work together, sharing experiences and connecting patient safety efforts happening across the state.
In line with efforts of the CDC, our HAI Advisory Committee has been hard at work developing educational resources to help Arizona’s healthcare facilities battle the threat of antibiotic resistance. Resources include an Antimicrobial Stewardship Program (ASP) Slide Set, Antibiogram Toolkit, FAQ webpage, Multidrug-resistant Organisms (MDROs) Fact Sheet, Do your Bugs need Drugs? pamphlet and many others.
Everyone can help prevent antibiotic resistance by:
- Taking pills as directed by your healthcare provider
- Finishing all pills as directed, even if you feel better
- Disposing of expired pills properly
- Stop sharing antibiotics
- Listen to your doctor; do not self-medicate
We need to ensure that every Arizonan receives the right antibiotic, at the right dose, at the right time, and for the right duration. Those interested in current antimicrobial stewardship efforts are invited to join our Antimicrobial Stewardship Subcommittee.