How to plan a successful Get Smart About Antibiotics Week manual
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How to plan a successful Get Smart About Antibiotics Week manual

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      The purpose of this document is to provide program coordinators guidance in planning a successful Get Smart About Antibiotics Week. This document contains suggestions for planning and implementing small activities as well as large events. The suggestions in this document can be used to build a new antibiotics health observance or to strengthen past efforts.

      Upper respiratory infections account for three quarters of all antibiotics prescribed by office-based physicians. If antibiotics were always prescribed appropriately, the resulting increase in resistance could be seen as inevitable and unavoidable. However, antibiotics are often used inappropriately. Even though prescribing rates have decreased, data suggest that, for all ages combined, more than ten million courses of antibiotics are prescribed each year for viral conditions that do not benefit from antibiotics.

      In response to rising rates of resistance and inappropriate prescribing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the Campaign for Appropriate Antibiotic Use in the Community in 1995. In 2003, the campaign was branded and launched as Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work. This campaign aims to reduce rising rates of antibiotic resistance by:

      1) promoting adherence to appropriate prescribing guidelines among providers;

      2) decreasing demand for antibiotics for viral upper respiratory infections among healthy adults and parents of young children; and

      3) increasing adherence to prescribed antibiotics for upper respiratory infections.

      Get Smart About Antibiotics Week provides an opportunity to:

      • Highlight the importance and benefits of appropriate antibiotic use to parents.

      • Highlight the importance and benefits of appropriate antibiotic prescribing to healthcare providers.

      • Focus attention on advancements made in appropriate antibiotic use.

      • Revitalize efforts to promote appropriate antibiotic use and to stop the rise of antibiotic resistance.

      • Encourage better patient/parent- healthcare provider/pharmacist communication.

      • Draw attention to the efforts of individual programs by working cohesively.

      Get Smart About Antibiotics Week also supports efforts to:

      • Work with state and local health departments and local coalitions to develop and implement a local communication strategy to increase awareness of the importance of appropriate antibiotic use.

      • Create events that attract community and media to increase the number and visibility of national and local media stories on antibiotic resistance.

      • Provide a media hook to interest national and local media in developing feature stories on the importance of appropriate antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance, and equip local planners to work effectively with local experts and media.

      • Recognize local partners and volunteers for efforts to promote appropriate antibiotic use.

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