Long term Care Pharmacy Update: Get Smart About Antibiotics

At Grane Rx, we’re committed to providing the highest-quality LTC pharmacy services. As part of that commitment, we share an ongoing series of pharmacy updates from our Chief Clinical Officer, designed to keep you in the know on clinical topics related to long term care pharmacy and PACE pharmacy. Antibiotic resistance has become a growing threat to the healthcare industry. Antibiotic-resistant infections can lead to more toxic treatments, higher healthcare costs and poorer health outcomes. Approximately 30 to 50 percent of all inpatient antibiotic use is considered to be inappropriate or unnecessary. Each year throughout the United States of America, more than 2 million illnesses and at least 23,000 deaths occur due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In order to combat this growing problem, the CDC launched the Get Smart program, which focuses on common illnesses throughout America for which most of the antibiotic prescriptions are written. From November 14 to 20, the CDC will promote its annual antibiotic awareness week.

Long term Care Pharmacy Facts About Antibiotics

  • Overuse of antibiotics can cause Clostridium difficile and possibly deadly diarrhea.
  • Some bacterial infections are now completely resistant to all available antibiotics.
  • Millions of antibiotic medications are prescribed each year for viral infections.
  • Seventy percent of residents in a nursing home receive one or more courses of systemic antibiotics per year.

Antibiotic Use: What Could Go Wrong?

  • Increased adverse drug events
  • Drug interactions
  • Colonization/infection with antibiotic-resistant bacteria
  • Risk of serious diarrheal infections from Clostridium difficile
  • Increased resistance to important antibiotic medications
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Get Smart Goals

  • Decrease antibiotic-resistant bacteria
  • Improve infection control and prevention
  • Improve antibiotic utilization throughout communities
  • Improve resident’s quality of life
  • Save lives

How Long Term Care Pharmacy and Other Providers Can Combat Antibiotic Resistance

  • Set goals to decrease antibiotic use
  • Collaborate and develop relationships with other healthcare professionals (doctors, nurses, pharmacists, etc.)
  • Test for specific bacteria and reevaluate regimen after results
  • Avoid treating viral infections with antibiotics
  • Use patient and provider resources
  • Educate and engage family members

Why Is This Important?

Long term care facilities and nursing homes house a culture where close contact is imminent, whether it is resident-resident, resident-staff or staff-staff. Infections are prone to being spread throughout; it is how healthcare providers respond that will make a difference. Throughout the week of November 14 to 20, the CDC will once again be promoting its Get Smart annual antibiotic awareness week.   Awareness and education are a fundamental necessity for improvements to occur in the healthcare environment that Grane Rx hopes to continue. We encourage you to join the crusade to reduce inappropriate antibiotic use and increase awareness of the unfortunate consequences of antibiotic overutilization. The CDC website is an excellent source of resources to help you prepare and create awareness about this important cause. Looking for a long term care pharmacy provider that’s a true partner for your team? Learn about the Grane Rx difference today by calling (866) 824-MEDS (6337).]]>

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