A Siouxland hospital is being chosen as one of only nine in the country to take part in a national study on how people develop a resistance to antibiotics.
Jim Spencer, vice president of Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City, Iowa, says there’s a growing danger in overprescribing those drugs.
“Thirty-percent of the antimicrobials used in hospitals may be not necessary and we could be, through some of our practices throughout the country, increasing the possibility of resistance,” Spencer says. “So, from a patient quality initiative and a public health concern, we need to be better stewards of our antimicrobials.”
A recent report from the World Health Organization found antimicrobial resistance in bacteria, viruses and parasites is an increasingly serious threat in every part of the world, so serious that “it threatens the achievements of modern medicine.”
Spencer says health care facilities are adjusting their thinking about when they use antibiotics and when they should be avoided.
“To use the appropriate antimicrobial for the right patient, the right time, the right dose, for the right reason, and we want to make sure that we have programs in place that can alert us to sensitivities or resistance patterns in our local communities, so as things emerge, we are able to nip them in the bud,” Spencer says.
Mercy’s infectious disease specialists and pharmacists are participating in the effort to properly diagnose and use antibiotics in patient treatment.
By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City