The Independence Health Department (IHD) has been
recognized for its work in a nationwide Antibiotic Stewardship Program.
W. Moran of the Public Health Foundation, Washington, D.C., spoke to the IHD’s
Advisory Board of Health and commended the Independence Health Department for
its work in a nationwide Antibiotic Stewardship Program.
Health Department is the only local health department in the country that is
involved in this program,” Dr. Moran said. “You are developing a lot of great
practices that other health departments around the nation can look at and learn
from in the future.”
of IHD’s program are: 1) to protect the community from not having drugs that
work to treat infections; and 2) improve patient outcomes and safety by using
education to help change behaviors regarding the need and demand for
which started working on the project in September 2012, is addressing the
problem of antibiotic resistance from a number of angles. In collaboration with Centerpoint Medical
Center, IHD has developed antibiotic treatment cards to provide health care
providers with an easy-to-use reference for how to best treat conditions they
often see in patients.
IHD is also
working with childcare facilities and schools to ensure that return-to-school
policies follow state recommendations and do not encourage unnecessary
antibiotic use. Education about antibiotic resistance and the importance of
using antibiotics appropriately is being included in many of the classes and
communications that IHD offers to the public.
“History has taught us that if we do not use
antibiotics wisely, they will lose their ability to fight disease,” IHD
Director Larry Jones said. “That is why
the IHD decided to participate in this program.
the way we approach the to antibiotics by selecting optimal use regimens will
hopefully safeguard their effectiveness,” Jones added. “I am proud that the IHD is on the cutting
edge of this important work in local public health and that we are the first to
resistance has been increasing in recent years, and has been called one of the
most pressing public health concerns of our age. Resistance occurs when
antibiotics are used for conditions that do not require the drugs, or when an
individual does not complete a prescribed course of antibiotics. In these
cases, the weakest bacteria are killed off while the stronger bacteria survive.
These stronger bacteria multiply and eventually, antibiotics become less
in antibiotic resistance has recently been described as an “apocalyptic
scenario,” in which we could run out of antibiotics that will work against some
of the most common infections.
Stewardship Program is a collaborative effort of the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and the
Public Health Foundation. Eight hospitals across the country have participated
in the pilot program, including Centerpoint Medical Center.
information about the Independence Health Department’s program, please contact
Dee Hampton at 325-7320.