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Get Smart Week – Day 1 Blog

Get Smart Week – Day 1 Blog

By The SHARPS Group

Nov 17, 2014

Updated Jul 13, 2023

5 min read


In 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the first Antibiotic Resistance Threats report. The 114-page report clearly highlights the increasing threat of antibiotic-resistant organisms to healthcare in the United States. Without effective antibiotics to fight infections, patients infected with resistant organisms are more likely die and for those who survive, are more likely to have complications. Unfortunately, the threat of multidrug-resistant organisms is compounded with the lack of new antibiotic development; however, with the growing awareness of the public health consequence of resistant organisms, there has been more government support to recognize, combat, and prevent resistant bacteria.

In the Threat Report, four core tactics are offered to help combat antibiotic resistance:

  1. Preventing infections, preventing the spread of resistance
  2. Tracking antibiotic-resistant organisms
  3. Improving antibiotic prescribing and stewardship
  4. Developing new drugs and diagnostic tests

For people in the community, the 3rd bullet point may be the most pertinent, but you may be asking, “What is ‘stewardship’?” Misuse of antibiotics leads to drug resistance, as a result the general goal of stewardship is to optimize antibiotic use – think “right bug, right drug”.  Also, this includes avoidance of antibiotics when it is not necessary such as colds – “Snort, Sniffle, Sneeze: No Antibiotics Please!” Resistant organisms was initially thought of as a hospital-associated infection; however, there is increasing evidence that antibiotic resistance can occur in the community. Thus, it is important that healthcare leaders work with the community – patients and providers alike – to decrease inappropriate antibiotic use. The CDC’s “Get Smart about Antibiotics Week” is a great campaign and has many resources for the public to increase awareness.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) collaborated with a number of other organizations to develop a guideline for antimicrobial stewardship; however, the focus of this guideline is on hospital antibiotic use. There is an intricate interplay of antibiotic use and resistance and all persons are vested parties in combating resistance – patients, healthcare providers, public health programs, and drug companies. We all need to work together to decrease the threat of resistant organisms.

The SHARPS group (Sharing Antimicrobial Reports for Pediatric Stewardship) is a unique collaborative effort of pediatric hospitals throughout the United States to help further stewardship practice. The SHARPS group has worked together to help promote awareness during Get Smart About Antibiotics Week (November 17-23, 2014) and will blog and tweet (@SHARPSgroup) throughout the week about the following topics: 

Day 1 – “Combating Antibiotic Resistance: Let’s Work Together!” – What is Antimicrobial Stewardship? Intro to Get Smart Week

Day 2 – “Microbiome  & Resistance” – What is the microbiome?  How does resistance carry forward in the microbiome?

Day 3 – “Antibiotic Prescribing and Antibiotic Resistance” – Linking prescribing practices to impact on resistance 

Day 4 – “Antibiotics: For Better or For Worse?” – Unintended consequences of antimicrobials (other than resistance)

Day 5 – “Focus on Infection Control” – Preventing infections results in avoiding antibiotic use

Want to learn more through social media? Join the CDC and @SHARPSgroup at 3:00PM EST on November 18, 2014, for an Antibiotic Resistance Twitter Chat, using #SaveAbx. Use #AntibioticDay for an all-day global perspective on antibiotic resistance!