Antibiotic Overuse

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Antibiotic Overuse

The Joint Commission steps in to address the problem

By Working Nurse
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“If we are not careful, we will soon be in a post-antibiotic era. And for some patients and for some microbes, we are already there.”
—Tom Frieden, M.D., MPH, CDC Director

“A post-antibiotic era means, in effect, an end to modern medicine as we know it. Things as common as strep throat or a child’s scratched knee could once again kill.”
—Margaret Chan, M.D., D.Sc., Msc.PH, FFFPN, JP, World Health Organization General Director

Despite all the warnings, some American doctors and nurse practitioners continue to inappropriately or unnecessarily prescribe antibiotics, driven by patient pressure, misplaced caution or just force of habit.

The result is a growing and dangerous trend towards antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which the CDC says now kills at least 23,000 people each year in the U.S.

Now, The Joint Commission is stepping up its efforts to promote better antibiotic stewardship by developing additional measures to increase provider awareness, educate patients and help hospitals improve their antibiotic management.

Other public and private stakeholders will be involved in this process, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, which the White House has already charged with combating the spread of drug-resistant bacteria.

The Joint Commission currently offers a free Antimicrobial Stewardship Toolkit for healthcare organizations at Other tools and programs will be announced in the coming months.     See for more information and updates.  

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