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July 2017 Excerpt

Help protect the health of your community by addressing antimicrobial resistance
It's not difficult to imagine the kind of chaos that could erupt—in our communities and across the globe—from the increasing numbers of drug-resistant bacteria, parasites, viruses, and fungi.
Although it will require some effort, community coalitions are in a terrific position to reduce this threat by:
  • Collaborating with healthcare providers across all settings of care to develop a community-wide action plan, including improved surveillance of resistant infections and universal implementation of antimicrobial stewardship programs
    (Start with the resources Qualis Health has compiled for outpatient settings, nursing homes, and hospitals; for further assistance, contact us).
  • Standardizing education and outreach initiatives so that community residents are better informed about the causes and risks of antimicrobial resistance
    (Start with these patient-friendly resources)
Why the emphasis on standardization?
The development of clear, consistent messaging and processes will strengthen each individual healthcare organization's efforts, simplify cross-setting data comparisons, and multiply preventive effects across the entire community.
In addition, patients who understand that all clinicians will use the same rationale to prescribe (or decline to prescribe) antibiotics are less likely to push for unnecessary treatment or to consider switching providers.
Nationwide, at least 30% of antibiotics prescribed in doctors’ offices, emergency departments, and hospital clinics are unnecessary. From our analysis of Medicare claims in Idaho and Washington, rates in both states vary widely by provider. (For example, see antibiotic utilization for upper respiratory infections.)