Joint Commission Launches Speak Up™ on Antibiotics Campaign

An estimated 2 million people in the United States each year are infected with bacteria that antibiotics cannot treat because the bacteria no longer respond to antibiotics.

The Joint Commission this week launched a Speak Up™ on Antibiotics campaign to help educate the general public about appropriate and safe use of antibiotics and the risks associated with antibiotic overuse. The campaign is the first in the organization's Speak Up series to simultaneously introduce a complete package of free resources, including an infographic, podcast, and video.

An estimated 2 million people in the United States each year are infected with bacteria that antibiotics cannot treat because the bacteria no longer respond to antibiotics. "Antibiotics also can kill good bacteria in the body, potentially leading to other problems such as diarrhea or yeast infections. As a result, antibiotic overuse has become a critical health and patient safety concern, especially in young children and seniors, who are at higher risk for illness," according to The Joint Commission.

"Antibiotics are powerful drugs used to fight specific infections. However, they do not work for every illness, including viruses that cause colds and the flu," said Lisa Waldowski, MS, APRN, CIC, an infection control specialist with the organization. "The new Speak Up campaign provides a variety of resources to help patients and caregivers understand that how they use antibiotics today can affect how well the drugs work for them tomorrow."

In the podcast, Waldowski discusses the most common misconceptions about how antibiotics work and how they should be prescribed, as well as why patients should care about antibiotic overuse.

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