It’s International Infection Prevention Week 2020 and the Health Quality & Safety Commission (the Commission) and the Choosing Wisely campaign are sending a reminder that the responsible use of antibiotics is critical to people’s health.
Choosing Wisely is an international campaign that aims to reduce unnecessary tests and treatments to ensure high-quality health care by promoting better shared decision-making between health professionals and consumers. The campaign has the following recommendations for health professionals about using antibiotics wisely.
More detailed information about these recommendations, including their evidence-base, can be found on the Choosing Wisely website.
- Do not use antibiotics in asymptomatic bacteriuria.
- Do not take a swab or use antibiotics for the management of a leg ulcer without clinical infection.
- Avoid prescribing antibiotics for upper respiratory tract infection (with the exception of sore throat in populations at high risk for complication of group A infection, such as acute rheumatic fever or post-streptococcal glomulornephritis).
- Do not use antimicrobials to treat bacteriuria in older adults where specific urinary tract symptoms are not present.
- Consider antibiotic de-escalation daily.
- Once patients have become afebrile (non-feverish) and are clinically improving, don’t continue prescribing intravenous antibiotics to those with uncomplicated infections and no high-risk features if they are tolerant of oral antibiotics.
- Don’t prescribe oral antibiotics for uncomplicated acute discharge from grommets.
- Don’t prescribe oral antibiotics for uncomplicated acute otitis externa.
- Don’t use oral antibiotics for the treatment of atopic dermatitis unless there is clinical evidence of infection.
- Don’t routinely use topical antibiotics on a surgical wound.
- Do not routinely prescribe oral antibiotics to children with fever without an identified bacterial infection.
International Infection Prevention Week runs from 18 to 24 October 2020 and aims to celebrate the hardworking infection preventionists keeping our communities safe.