Each year an estimated 2 million people in the United States become infected with bacteria that antibiotics cannot treat because the bacteria is no longer responsive to antibiotics. Antibiotics also can kill good bacteria in the body, potentially leading to other problems such as diarrhea or yeast infections. As a result, antibiotic overuse has become a critical health and patient safety concern, especially in young children and seniors, who are at higher risk for illness.
In an effort to help educate the public on the appropriate and safe use of antibiotics, as well as the risks associated with antibiotic overuse, the Joint Commission launched its Speak Up™ on Antibiotics campaign this week.
“Antibiotics are powerful drugs used to fight specific infections. However, they do not work for every illness, including viruses that cause colds and the flu,” said Lisa Waldowski, MS, APRN, CIC, infection control specialist, The Joint Commission. “The new Speak Up campaign provides a variety of resources to help patients and caregivers understand that how they use antibiotics today can affect how well the drugs work for them tomorrow.”
View The Joint Commission’s colorful, new infographic on antibiotics and learn more about antibiotic overuse, as well as other topics on patient safety by visiting The Joint Commission’s Speak Up™ patient safety program on their website http://www.jointcommission.org/speakup.aspx.