Medicine practice has been transformed by the use of antibiotics. They have made infections which were once lethal, to be treatable easily and has also made possible medical advances like organ transplants and cancer chemotherapy. Antibiotics have saved lives and reduced morbidity. However, like other medicines, they come with adverse effects which could be severe. They have been recorded to occur in about 20 per cent of patients who receive them. Patient exposure unnecessarily to antibiotics places them at adverse events risk without benefits, and it happens to almost 30 per cent of acute care patients. Decision-making involving all stakeholders will be vital in deterring antibiotics use unnecessarily.
To regulate antibiotics use effectively, “Antibiotics Stewardship programs” should be implemented. Decision making in our organization occurs at all levels. The patients make some decisions, nurses, nurse mangers, and directors are all involved in decision making. The hospital directors should be committed to implementing the Stewardship program on antibiotics. They should dedicate and deploy the necessary information technology, financial, and human resources. The leaders should dedicate time and resources to ensure the program operates smoothly. The director should also ensure that the leaders of the program have opportunities regularly scheduled to present activities regarding stewardship. The nursing leader should appoint co-leaders such as pharmacists and physicians who will be responsible for managing the program and outcomes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017). Pharmacists are the ideal co-leaders for efforts in implementing antibiotic use improvement in stewardship programs. They can give pharmacy expertise in the importance of improved antibiotic use.
Pharmacists give prospective feedback and audits, which significantly improve the use of antibiotics. By involving pharmacists, the antibiotic prescription is monitored together with outcomes like resistance patterns and C.difficile infection. Nurses should also be educated on the antibiotics adverse effects, optimal prescribing and antibiotic resistance (Carter, 2018). This will help frontline nurses administer the use of antibiotics carefully and when necessary only. The frontline nurse can also provide feedback on the impact of antibiotics on the patient. This will help in decision making regarding antibiotics use in the hospital. Nurse Managers should ensure that frontline nurses who interact with the patient, are sufficiently educated on how to administer and report on the subject implementing the antibiotic Stewardship program.
Additionally, nurses can be engaged in efforts to educate the patients. Nurses are the people who interact with patients often. If they are trained on antibiotics use, they can be used to explain, educate, and advice the patient regarding antibiotics (Carter, 2018). Education that is case-based is more powerful. By educating nurse practitioners, the patients will receive better and well-informed decisions together with the proper administration of antibiotics when necessary, curbing its adverse effects. The patient also plays a major role in decision making. As the main shareholder, because of the direct impact that antibiotics have on them. The patient should be the major contributors to decisions regarding antibiotics. They can control and regulate the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics. This, in turn, helps improve the development of hospitals in managing the resistance from spreading. The patient should increase their knowledge of how antibiotics should be properly used together with the importance of using them according to the prescription (Schafer, 2017). The patient can read literal educational health materials which may help improve their knowledge hence make better decisions regarding antibiotics. Patients paly a critical role in the implementation of the stewardship program on antibiotics.
In conclusion, antibiotics are beneficial if they are administered properly. The hospital directors, nurse managers, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and patients are all required for the stewardship program to be implemented successfully. If they are all involved in decision making, antibiotics use will be regulated and used only when necessary.
Carter, E. J., Greendyke, W. G., Furuya, E. Y., Srinivasan, A., Shelley, A. N., Bothra, A., … & Larson, E. L. (2018). Exploring the nurses’ role in antibiotic stewardship: A multisite qualitative study of nurses and infection preventionists. American journal of infection control, 46(5), 492-497.
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). Antibiotic prescribing and use in hospitals and long-term care: core elements of hospital antibiotic stewardship programs. It was updated: Feb, 23.
Schafer, J. (2017). The Role of Payers in Antibiotic Stewardship: Facilitating Transitions of Care for Patients With Active Infection. Journal of Clinical Pathw
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