Fighting antibiotic resistance
Resistance to antibiotics, the drugs your doctor prescribes to treat infections caused by bacteria, is one of the most challenging problems in health care today.
It occurs when the bacteria change in a way that reduces or stops the effectiveness of the antibiotics. When this occurs, the bacteria can survive and continue to cause infection.
If you take antibiotics and really do not need them, they may lose their strength and no longer be effective to treat bacteria. The most important way to reduce or prevent antibiotic resistance is by education on the appropriate use of antibiotics.
In 2013, GV Health introduced a computer-based antibiotic monitoring system. Antibiotic prescriptions are reviewed to ensure antibiotics are prescribed according to best practice guidelines. In doing, so, GV Health is actively participating in the fight against antibiotic resistance.
The pharmacy department has devised an audit tool for use in each ward. A monthly visit checks a variety of protocols relating to medication safety to ensure that standards are constantly met. Along with this, a Medication Safety Newsletter is produced bi-monthly to keep all staff updated with the latest information.
Electronically produced prescriptions are being phased into use within the hospital, taking medication information directly from the patient history to create discharge requirements and helping to minimise risks in relation to medications.
Educational programs have been facilitated over the last two years to encourage a more consistent approach to reporting. Reports of medication-related incidents are assessed at the monthly Medication Safety Advisory Committee meetings and acted upon to improve patient safety.