Antibiotic Stewardship

Antibiotic resistance rates in Tennessee are among the highest in the nation. In the USA, At least 30% of antibiotics prescribed in the outpatient setting are unnecessary, meaning that no antibiotic was needed at all. This is harmful and wasteful.

CPF is partnering with VUMC Inectious Disease to create a community Antibiotic Stewardship program in Tennessee.

Goals include...

Changing practitioner and consumer attitudes and behaviors about the use of antibiotics

Increasing parental knowledge of appropriate antibiotic use

Increasing community awareness of appropriate antibiotic use and resistance

Mobilizing practitioner and consumer groups to assist the community in reducing the overuse and misuse of antibiotics

 

Why would health care providers give antibiotics if not needed?
Approximately one-third to one-half of all antibiotic prescriptions are not needed. Many health care providers report feeling pressured by worried parents or patients to prescribe antibiotics. They also may not be sure whether a bacterium or virus is causing the infection. In some cases, laboratory tests, such as for strep throat, can be helpful.

Why do parents ask their children’s doctor for antibiotics when they may not be needed?
Some day care centers may request that a child be treated with an antibiotic before returning to day care. Also, if a child received an antibiotic in the past for a cold the parent may feel the antibiotic is necessary every time the child has a cold. This is why it is important that parents are educated about when it is appropriate for a doctor to prescribe an antibiotic for their children.

The wording and information above come from the CDC and the TN Health Department.

If you are interested in being part of the Antibiotic Stewardship Initiative, please reach out to: madalyn.l.mccauley@vanderbilt.edu