Discussing Antibiotic Resistant Pathogens
Adrienne Mims, M.D., MPH, FAAFP, AGSF, the vice president and chief medical officer of Medicare Quality Improvement for Alliant Quality, which is Georgia’s Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO), will discuss antibiotic resistance – “among today’s greatest public health threats” – when she appears on MAG’s ‘Top Docs Radio’ program on the Business Radio-X Network at 12 p.m. today, Tuesday, June 27.
“Antibiotic resistance is responsible for an estimated 2 million infections and 23,000 deaths in the U.S. per year,” says Dr. Mims. “While antibiotics are life-saving drugs that are critical to modern medicine, infections with pathogens that are resistant to first-line antibiotics can require treatment with alternative antibiotics that can be toxic and expensive.”
She explains that, “The most important modifiable risk factor for antibiotic resistance is inappropriate prescribing. It is believed that as much as half of all antibiotic prescribing for upper respiratory conditions might be inappropriate, including antibiotic selection, dosing, or duration, as well as unnecessary prescribing – and at least 30 percent of outpatient antibiotic prescriptions in the U.S. are unnecessary.”
According to Dr. Mims, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released ‘Core Elements of Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship’ to accompany the existing recommendations for hospital and long-term care settings. Areas of emphasis include…
- Commitment. Demonstrating dedication to and accountability for optimizing antibiotic prescribing and patient safety.
- Action for policy and practice. Implementing at least one policy or practice to improve antibiotic prescribing, assessing whether the policy or practice is working, and making modifications as needed.
- Tracking and reporting. Monitoring antibiotic prescribing practices and offering regular feedback to clinicians or having clinicians assess their own antibiotic prescribing practices.
- Education and expertise. Providing educational resources to clinicians and patients on antibiotic prescribing and ensuring there is adequate access to the expertise that’s needed to optimize antibiotic prescribing.
Dr. Mims also points out that, “Alliant GMCF has received a CMS contract to support the development of outpatient antibiotic stewardship programs in physician offices, urgent care centers, emergency rooms, and federally-qualified health care centers in Georgia.”
And she stresses that, “We will assist clinicians to ensure that every patient receives the right antibiotic at the right time and at the right dose for the right duration, according to today’s evidence-based guidelines.”
Physicians who have questions about Alliant GMCF’s efforts in this area can contact Kristine Williamson at 919.745.4735 or Kristine.Williamson@alliantquality.org. MAG sponsors the ‘Top Docs’ program at 12 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. Between downloads and live listeners, MAG’s ‘Top Docs’ show has reached more than 12,500 listeners – which includes people in all 50 states and 84 countries.
MAG’s ‘Top Docs Radio’ show is supported with a grant from Health Care Research, a subsidiary of Alliant Health Solutions.