VHAN Combats Antimicrobial Resistance With New Antibiotic Stewardship Program

To increase the appropriate use of antibiotics and decrease the threat of antibiotic resistance, VHAN has launched a new Antibiotic Stewardship Program. Antibiotic overuse significantly reduces the quality of care for both adults and children. At least 30% of outpatient-prescribed antibiotics are unnecessary, sometimes leading to ER visits for adverse drug events in patients of all ages. 

First Target: URIs
Upper Respiratory Infections (URIs)—a common reason for patient visits—is the first phase of VHAN’s Antibiotic Stewardship Program. Appropriate treatment of URIs are quality measures on certain VHAN value-based contracts, including Aetna commercial.

VHAN’s clinical team has developed pocket cards for adult and pediatric patients to help reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions for URIs, while keeping patient needs at the forefront. The pocket cards include:

  • Clinical algorithm for prescribing guidance
  • Alternative treatment options
  • Diagnostic coding tips

Helping Patients Be Antibiotic Aware
While clinical resources are important tools for antibiotic stewardship, patient and family engagement is equally as valuable to improve appropriate antibiotic prescribing, particularly when it comes to URIs. Because some patients are disappointed to hear they won’t be prescribed an antibiotic for their condition, VHAN’s pocket cards include helpful patient messaging.

You can access URI Pocket Cards for pediatric and adult populations, corresponding badge buddies, and patient education tools, including a printable poster and social media graphics, on the new Antibiotic Stewardship section on VHAN Hub.

Register for the Learning Exchange
For more support and education to combat antibiotic resistance, register for a virtual VHAN Learning Exchange on Tuesday, Dec. 6, from 12–1:30 p.m. CST. The targeted discussion will help you learn more about antibiotic stewardship, share best practices with network peers, and give you tips on how to leverage VHAN’s new resources. Register here.

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