Elderly couple with caregiver

The old saying ‘communication is key’ applies to all situations, especially healthcare. Furthermore, communicating to residents and their families about antibiotic reduction can sometimes be a hard task. Any action taken to improve antibiotic use is expected to reduce adverse events, prevent emergence of antibiotic resistance and lead to better outcomes for residents.

Communication and education is important between healthcare professionals, residents and their loved ones when making the best-informed decisions. In McKnight’s Long-Term Care News article, Dr. Philip D. Sloane states, “family expectations are overestimated and families are starting to get the message a little bit, it is all about communication and education.”  While some family members who may challenge nurses and staff about medication, Dr. Sloane offers a script to address these concerns.

According to the CDC, nursing homes are encouraged to work in a step-wise fashion, implementing one or two activities to start and gradually adding new strategies from each Core Elements of Antibiotic Stewardship for Nursing Homes over time.

The Great Plains Quality Innovation Network team supports long-term care providers by offering tools and resources to better understand and track antibiotic use and infections. These resources are useful in identifying priority areas for reducing inappropriate antibiotic use. We are also supporting nursing home providers to educate not only their staff, but also residents and family members. We provide tools and resources to review during admission and care conferences and offer educational offerings specific to the consumer.

For more information about how you can engage your residents and family members in antibiotic stewardship efforts, click here. For additional tools and resources on reducing Healthcare-Acquired Conditions (HACs) in nursing homes, click here.

Source: McKnights Long-Term Care News; January 24, 2018