Insist Antibiotic Resistant Information Be Provided to Outpatient Physicians

Prescription

Target: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Goal: Provide critical antibiotic resistant information to outpatient clinics to prevent continued illness or death

According to a recent study reported in Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease, researchers are releasing their findings on antibiotic resistance. Both hospitalized patients and outpatients face the risk of continued illness or death if they are not prescribed the most effective antibiotic to eliminate infection. However, outpatients have been suffering at a greater intensity, mainly due to the fact that antibiotic information is not as readily available for outpatient services as it is for hospitals. Urge the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide critical antibiotic resistant information for all outpatient clinics.

Resistance to antibiotics is an escalating issue in both outpatient and hospital environments. Of the 126 million prescriptions a year given to patients outside of hospitals, monitoring and observing their resistance has proven weak, compared to those of hospitalized patients. The report indicates that over 16,000 cultures were examined for resistance to commonly used antibiotics prescribed to patients.

Typically, hospitals compile data to produce an antibiogram—laboratory test results, indicating the sensitivity of a bacterial strain to various antibiotics—to be shared with doctors. The data is then used to help determine the best antibiotic to prescribe for a patient, in order to quickly eradicate the infection and prevent the spread of resistance.

Historically, when doctors began to identify antibiotic resistance in hospitals, they assumed the more aggressive approach towards examining and understanding antibiotic use. However, practitioners offering outpatient services do not yet have access to the same level of information provided to doctors at hospitals. This lack of information creates more severe symptoms for outpatients as well as the possibility of extending illness and increasing the risk of death. Urge the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide antibiograms for outpatient physicians to use a reference when prescribing antibiotics to patients.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,

In a recent report released by researchers from Oregon State University, it has been noted that more than half of all antibiotics prescribed to outpatients experiencing respiratory infections are, in fact, unnecessary as they can enhance the resistance of bacteria to the antibiotic prescribed by the patient’s physician.

Patients who are admitted to hospitals to receive treatment are at an advantage over outpatients because of the antibiograms provided to doctors, enabling them to prescribe the most effective antibiotic. As technology moves into the digital age, patient records are now becoming electronic, making outpatient antibiograms for health care clinics a very necessary possibility. Therefore, I urge you to provide health care systems with outpatient antibiograms to assist physicians in prescribing the most sufficient antibiotics to treat infections.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: thumbs.dreamstime.com

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