Sioux City’s Mercy Medical Center is one of nine hospitals chosen to participate in a national study on antibiotic resistance. Mercy vice president, Jim Spencer, says there’s a danger in overprescribing antibiotics. “Thirty-percent of the antimicrobials used in hospitals may be not necessary. And we could be, through some of our practices throughout the country, increasing our antibiotic resistance,” Spencer says. “So, from a patient quality perspective and a public health concern, we need to be better stewards of our antimicrobials.”
Spencer says health care facilities are adjusting their thinking about when they use antibiotics. “To use the appropriate antimicrobial for the right patient, the right time, the right dose, for the right reason, and we want to make sure that we have programs in place that alert us to sensitivities or resistance patterns in our local communities, so as issue emerge we are able to nip them in the bud,” Spencer says.
Mercy’s infectious disease specialists and pharmacists are participating in the effort to properly diagnose and use antibiotics in patient treatment.
(Reporting by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)