Many health care providers report feeling pressured by worried parents or patients to prescribe antibiotics. Rather than take the time to explain why an antibiotic isn't needed, it may be easier to write a prescription. They also may not be sure whether an infection is caused by a bacterium or virus. In some cases, laboratory tests, such as for strep throat, can be helpful, but again require extra time and sometimes a second visit for the patient.
MARR offers free materials for download, and also free educational programs that will help the healthcare provider easily explain to a patient why an antibiotic may not be necessary. Many patients do not know what antibiotic resistance is and how it could affect them. These materials may help create a dialog between the patient and provider about the differences between a virus and bacterial infection, when an antibiotic is appropriate, and the dangers of antibiotic resistance, including why taking an antibiotic for a viral infection can cause more harm than good.
Improving antibiotic prescribing in all health care settings is critical to combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The Core Elements of Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship provides a framework for antibiotic stewardship for outpatient clinicians and facilities that routinely provide antibiotic treatment.Learn more on the CDC website
Clinical PEARLS to avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics Guideline Compendia for Adult and Pediatric Upper Respiratory Infections