Get smart about antibiotics
Infections caused by resistant bacteria have become more common, and many bacteria have become resistant to multiple antibiotics. CDC released a report in September 2013 documenting that each year more than 2 million people in the United States get infections that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die as a result. This trend demands urgent action by patients, health care providers, facility administrators and health care insurers to preserve the last lines of defense against many of these germs.
Patients can take antibiotics exactly as the doctor prescribes, complete the prescribed course of treatment even when starting to feel better, and ask what treatment would be best for their illness instead of demanding antibiotics from their doctor, if not needed.
Health care providers can prescribe correctly, collaborate with other providers and facilities, take antibiotic "time outs," and embrace antibiotic stewardship programs.
Health care facility administrators and payers can focus on stopping unnecessary antibiotic use. Reducing use can prevent antibiotic-resistant and Clostridium difficile infections, as well as decrease costs and improve patient outcomes.