Pathways For Infection Control In Healthcare

What Healthcare Systems Can Do to Impact on Antimicrobial Use

Incessant use of antimicrobials in practice of human medicine is diverse and there’s a direct connection with antimicrobial resistance one of the greatest challenges to public health. The primary goal of antimicrobial campaigns is to prevent the emergence of resistance, prevent adverse reactions and provide the best means for clinical therapy.

Antimicrobial abuse is a problem with profound challenges. On the average, prescribed antimicrobials are often unnecessary, and irrelevant, over the counter dispensing does not monitor the reasons for use and are therefore sold irresponsibly. Inappropriate use is a major factor in promoting antimicrobial resistance. The world is running out of antimicrobials, responsible use must be implemented through regulations and discovery of new agents to combat resistance.

Campaigns to curb antimicrobial abuse have been successful in reduction of resistance and reduction in prescription has been shown to reduce healthcare costs, improve patient outcomes and prevent adverse reactions such as Clostridium difficile pseudomembraneous colitis and diarrhea.

Intentional withdrawal of an antimicrobial regimen or substitution of one class for another has not demonstrated any form of benefit however the outcomes of cost and waste of resources are well obvious. In other to achieve success in antimicrobial education, enlightenment campaigns must adopt both passive and active education. Poor staffing is a major characteristic of antimicrobial abuse in healthcare alongside limited options for antimicrobials.

Healthcare settings are encouraged to adopt a multidisciplinary approach for antimicrobial use. This will encourage knowledge of infectious disease, epidemiology and infection control. Essential human, financial and information technology resources must be committed to this course alongside structure and design of plans that lead to success.

Restriction on the use of certain antimicrobials depending on the rate of use, spectrum of activity, toxicity and cost, review of antimicrobial therapy, development of guidelines for course of therapy based on therapy history are ideal measures for success.

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