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Simple guidelines decreased unnecessary antibiotic use in Quebec, Canada

Date:
July 26, 2011
Source:
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Summary:
Antibiotic overuse and resistance have emerged as major threats during the past two decades. Following an outbreak of Clostridium difficile infections, which often result from antibiotic use, health care professionals in Quebec, Canada, targeted physicians and pharmacists with an education campaign that reduced outpatient antibiotic use, according to a new study.

Antibiotic overuse and resistance have emerged as major threats during the past two decades. Following an outbreak of Clostridium difficile infections, which often result from antibiotic use, health care professionals in Quebec, Canada targeted physicians and pharmacists with an education campaign that reduced outpatient antibiotic use, according to a study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The Quebec Minister of Health and the Quebec Medication Council collaborated with designated physicians and pharmacists to develop guidelines to improve prescribing practices. First issued in January 2005, the guidelines emphasized proper antibiotic use, including not prescribing antibiotics when viral infections were suspected and selecting the shortest possible duration of treatment. Approximately 30,000 printed copies of the original recommendations were distributed to all physicians and pharmacists in Quebec. An additional 193,500 copies were downloaded from the Medication Council's website. (The current versions of the guidelines are available online: http://www.cdm.gouv.qc.ca/site/aid=166.phtml.)

During the year after the guidelines were initially distributed, the number of outpatient antibiotic prescriptions in Quebec decreased 4.2 percent. In other Canadian provinces, the number of these prescriptions increased 6.5 percent during the same period.

According to study author Karl Weiss, MD, of the University of Montreal, "It is possible to decrease antibiotic consumption when physicians, pharmacists, state governments, etc., are working together for a common goal. This is the key to success: having everybody involved and speaking with a common voice."

Dr. Weiss added, "Simple, short, easy-to-use guidelines have an impact on physicians when they are readily available. The web is an increasingly important tool to reach our audience and should now be used as such in the future. With handheld electronic devices available for all health care professionals, these downloadable guidelines can be accessed and used at any time and any circumstance."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Infectious Diseases Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Karl Weiss, Rιgis Blais, Anne Fortin, Sonia Lantin, Michel Gaudet. Impact of a Multipronged Education Strategy on Antibiotic Prescribing in Quebec, Canada. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2011; DOI: 10.1093/cid/cir409

Cite This Page:

Infectious Diseases Society of America. "Simple guidelines decreased unnecessary antibiotic use in Quebec, Canada." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110726092154.htm>.
Infectious Diseases Society of America. (2011, July 26). Simple guidelines decreased unnecessary antibiotic use in Quebec, Canada. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110726092154.htm
Infectious Diseases Society of America. "Simple guidelines decreased unnecessary antibiotic use in Quebec, Canada." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110726092154.htm (accessed September 3, 2014).

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