Overprescribing antibiotics has been a growing problem nationwide for nearly a decade. As a result, CHI Health created a research team to fight the problem. The team at chi health is made up of doctors and pharmacists. All of the members are focused on making sure that patients are not becoming resistant to antibiotics.
“If you expose an antibiotic over and over again, then the good bacterias we have in our body becomes resistant,” said Dr. Renuga Vivekanandan, an infectious disease physician at CHI Health. Patients becoming resistant to antibiotics has been a problem seen around the nation, but a research team made up of pharmacists and physicians at CHI Health has put together a program to help monitor patients at their 14 hospitals on a daily basis. "We review all of the patients on antibiotics in the hospital to make sure that their appropriate use, for the right indication, for the right patient at the right time,” said Jen Anthone, an antimicrobial stewardship pharmacist.
Members of the team say the overprescribing problem started from a lack of education about what complications this could have in the future. “It's hard for people to actually say no to the patient sometimes, they can be fairly persistent so it’s' really just kind of a culture change that everybody is working on,” said Anthone.
The program started last year as the team focused on reducing unwanted side effects for patients, patient resistance and the amount of effective antibiotics. “The great outcomes we have seen in the last 12 months since we've had this coverage is that we have reduction in broad-spectrum antibiotics,” said Dr. Vivekanandan, “we are seeing a positive impact of patients getting treated appropriately and recovering well and their complication rates have gone down."
Right now, the program is focused on an inpatient setting at the hospital, but the team is working on ways to provide education for outpatient clinic providers. "To be an extra resource for the provider that is at bedside,” said Dr. Vivekanandan.
By 2020 the CDC wants all hospitals to reduce the amount of antibiotics they use. CHI Health says its programs to track the use of antibiotics will help it reach that goal.