Antibiotics save millions of lives. Infectious bacterial diseases that were once deadly are now treatable with antibiotics. Unfortunately, 30 percent of antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary and potentially dangerous. Antibiotics can cause side-effects ranging from mild to severe. Antibiotic resistance is a serious public health issue. Each year around two million illnesses and 23,000 deaths are caused by antibiotic resistant infections in the US.
In this Grand Rounds, speakers discussed efforts to measure and improve antibiotic prescribing through antibiotic stewardship so that these medications are only prescribed when needed. Antibiotic stewardship aims to ensure that the right antibiotic, dose, and duration are selected when they are needed. The session highlights lessons learned for improving antibiotic use in pediatrics and shares ideas on what providers and health systems can do to improve use for adults.