BOSTON, Nov. 2, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF), a central voice for patient safety since 1997, is proud to partner with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to recognize the ninth annual Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, November 14-20, 2016. During this week, participants will raise awareness of the threat of antibiotic resistance and emphasize the importance of appropriate antibiotic use across all health-care settings.
NPSF is kicking off the week with a webcast, "Taking Action to Combat Antibiotic Resistance and Improve Antibiotic Use," with speakers Deborah Pasko, Pharm.D, MHA, of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and Arjun Srinivasan, MD (CAPT, USPHS), CDC's associate director for healthcare-associated infection programs. NPSF encourages health care organizations to convene a group of staff and take advantage of the free webcast as a shared learning opportunity to raise awareness of this critical issue. The webcast will take place on Monday, Nov. 14, from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm Eastern time. To register, visit http://bit.ly/PLS1116.
Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in a way that reduces the effectiveness of antibiotics. CDC has called antibiotic resistance one of the most pressing public health threats today.
"Antibiotics are critical adjuncts to modern medicine, are vital to performing effective surgical procedures, and provide medical treatment for a variety of serious illnesses," said Dr. Lauri Hicks, director for CDC's Office of Antibiotic Stewardship. "Alarmingly, we are facing the end of the antibiotic era because antibiotics are being inappropriately prescribed and used, which contributes to antibiotic resistance. It is crucial that antibiotics are used only when absolutely necessary." Moreover, she said, when antibiotics are needed, it is crucial that the correct antibiotic be prescribed in a timely manner at the right dose and duration.
According to the CDC, up to one-half of antibiotic use in humans is either unnecessary or inappropriate. Each year in the United States, 47 million unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions are written in doctor's offices, emergency rooms, and hospital-based clinics, which makes improving antibiotic prescribing and use a national priority.
Get Smart About Antibiotics Week 2016 marks an important year, during which Congress allocated $160 million in new funding for CDC to implement its activities listed in the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB). CDC is using this funding to accelerate outbreak detection and prevention, support innovative research, and inform providers and the general public about antibiotic resistance and appropriate antibiotic use. CDC is also working to improve tracking of antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance.
"We are very pleased to be partnering with the CDC in this important work," said Dr. Tejal K. Gandhi, president and chief executive officer, NPSF. "Antibiotic resistance is a serious threat in hospitals and health settings, but also in our communities. Education is a key part of turning this problem around."
The Get Smart About Antibiotics Week 2016 observance marks the second annual World Antibiotic Awareness Week, which coincides with European Antibiotic Awareness Day, Canada Antibiotic Awareness Week, and other similar observances across the world.
For additional information about Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work, please visit www.cdc.gov/getsmart.
Pictured: Medical illustration of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Courtesy of CDC.
About the National Patient Safety Foundation
The National Patient Safety Foundation's vision is to create a world where patients and those who care for them are free from harm. A central voice for patient safety since 1997, NPSF partners with patients and families, the health care community, and key stakeholders to advance patient safety and health care workforce safety and disseminate strategies to prevent harm. NPSF is an independent, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. For information about the Foundation's programs, visit www.npsf.org and follow @theNPSF on Twitter.
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Source:The National Patient Safety Foundation