Antibiotic awareness – How hospitals view the challenge – Chris Little

Antibiotic awareness – How hospitals view the challenge – Chris Little


It is massive, it’s one of the most, well
I’m very passionate about it, it’s one of the most important things in the world to
do with health. Antibiotics are the most wonderful medicines,
they’re pretty unique, in that you actually take them, the right ones and you cure the
disease. You don’t have to take them for the rest of
your life, they just work. But we’ve been taking this wonderful resource
for granted and now we’re starting to run into issues. You have an abusive relationship with them
and we’re starting to see them lose their power with the emergence of resistant bacteria. And we’re seeing that in Wellington, we’re
seeing that all over New Zealand. And this is being driven by our overuse of
them. The hospital, well we’re the end point, so
any poor antibiotic use, any resistance organisms tend to finish up with us, you know serious
infections. In the hospital we have patients who are having
surgery, we have patients who are having cancer chemotheraphy, these all require protection. They’re immune systems are weakened, there’s
chances of bugs getting in the wrong places, so you know, we’re a big user of antibiotics. So we got to use the right, right time, right
dose with that patient. I think one of the real key points is antibiotics
are not harmless. People think it’s better than doing nothing,
just incase. And this is what we’ve got to get past, that
cultural attitude with their use. And this is a global problem, it’s not just
New Zealand, but we are one of the highest users in the world which is a bit of a worry. We’ve been really starting to get a good handle
on how we use antibiotics. Not just sort of the raw tonnage, how much
we use everyday, where we use it, but also the quality of obscribing. You know, making sure we are using the best
choices for the patients that are there. And it’s not just a case of preserving them
for next generations, it’s a case of preserving them for that patient when they come in, in
a years time. We’ve been combining expert knowledge from
around the country and internationally with our local knowledge of the bugs that are here
and the best use of the drugs that are available and we’ve been creating guidelines, sort of,
for Wellington and the region. But we’ve also been developing an app now
as well to help our prescribers, you know to lead them the right way and show them what
the options, the best options are for that patient. You know, taking into consideration the individual
parts of that patients therapy. And then giving them our recommended choice. New Zealand hospitals, there are some fantastic
initiatives going on, there’s some wonderful stuff. I think of Auckland, they’ve developed an
amazing app that has loads of human factor safety features in it. Canterbury are doing great dosage work where
they’re trying to get more effective dosage regiments that are better for patients, but
also better for treating the illness, easier for everyone. There is great stuff going on, but it’s not
yet everywhere. We’re beginning to get a critical mass going
in New Zealand, we’ve got great teams, stewardship teams in some of the key locations. And now we’re trying to, sort of, get it out
into all the other hospitals who don’t have support yet. And we can see now we have a national action
plan. Hopefully this will be followed by, you know,
real support for stewardship and building a real base there.

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