How to Become a Steward of Antibiotic Use

How to Become a Steward of Antibiotic Use


It’s really important for all of us who use antimicrobials to really think carefully about how we use
them and to be good stewards of antibiotic use. And what that means is
that regardless of whether you’re a veterinarian that is operating out of a
mobile vet truck, or you’re someone who has a clinic and practices out of a
single area, you can practice judicious use. And there are 5 key core
principles that AVMA has actually worked to establish. They’re based off of a
document that CDC came up with, and these core principles, which are available on
the AVMA website, really helped to provide a broad overall way of thinking
about implementing stewardship. One of the things that you should do when
developing an antibiotic stewardship program at your hospital is commit to
stewardship, and this means championing those efforts and making sure that you
have folks at your clinic who are really working to ensure that everyone at the
practice is on board with those concepts. The next piece of an antibiotic
stewardship program is to advocate for a system of care that prevents many of the
diseases that we commonly see in animals. So, this might include using things like
vaccines that prevent the diseases, so we don’t have to use an antibiotic to treat
it. The next piece is to select an antibiotic and use it judiciously, so
that means really thoughtful, careful consideration of what antibiotic you’re
going to choose, and this might be guided by diagnostic testing, or other
factors, that help you make a decision about the right antibiotic to use, the
right dose to use, and the right duration to use it for. The next piece is to
evaluate antimicrobial drug use practices, and that means looking back
and seeing did your treatment work or was there something that you needed to
change? The next piece of an antibiotic stewardship program is to educate and
evaluate. So once you use antibiotics, looking at educating yourself and others
about how to use those antibiotics judiciously in the future, and how what
antibiotic you use actually impact use in your practice.

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