The winter months are a great time to raise awareness of the importance of appropriate antibiotic use. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) antibiotics are powerful tools to fight life-threatening infections like those that can lead to sepsis. However, antibiotics will not treat acute bronchitis/bronchiolitis and misuse of antibiotics can cause unnecessary side effects and antibiotic resistance.
Neighborhood’s 2019 Healthcare Effectiveness Data Information Set (HEDIS) rate for the Avoidance of Antibiotic Treatment for Acute Bronchitis/Bronchiolitis measure stood at 46.00% and ranked in the Medicaid Quality Compass (QC) 25th percentile. The QC 90th percentile for Medicaid plans in 2019 was 65.24%. Antibiotic prescribing is a complex issue but there are simple changes that that have the potential for a big impact.
How can you help?
The CDC provides the following guidance when prescribing antibiotics:
- Protect your patients: Only prescribe antibiotics when they are needed. For example, most acute upper respiratory infections are viral and do not require antibiotics.
- Follow clinical guidelines:When prescribing antibiotics make sure to prescribe the right antibiotic, at the right dose, and for the right duration.
- Discuss side effects:Talk to your patients and their families about possible harms from antibiotics, such as allergic reactions, difficile, and antibiotic‐resistant infections.
To find resources that you can use to educate your patients about appropriate antibiotic use, please visit www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use.