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The Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council Foundation Pushing Public Awareness of Antibiotic Resistance

October 21, 2014

As part of an ongoing campaign, the consortium of healthcare providers seeks to educate patients and physicians about the careful use of antibiotics in concert with International Infection Prevention Week

IRVING, TEXAS (October 20, 2014) — The Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council Foundation, an organization that unites North Texas hospital and industry leaders in advancing quality healthcare in the region, is encouraging patients and their physicians to take a proactive approach to using antibiotics properly and, in turn, helping to curtail the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.

The initiative, which coincides with International Infection Prevention Week (October 19-25), is part of the DFW Hospital Council Foundation’s ongoing public awareness campaign about C-diff, an acute diarrhea caused by the Clostridium difficile bacteria. The bacterial infection is linked to 20,000 deaths in the United States every year, one of the growing class of “superbugs” that healthcare recipients who find themselves overprescribed or taking unneeded antibiotics are at risk of acquiring.

“Infection prevention is, now more than ever, a matter of very crucial public concern,” DFW Hospital Council Foundation President Kristin Jenkins, JD, FACHE, said. “Hospital patients always should feel comfortable speaking with their healthcare providers about when and how best to take antibiotics for a bacterial infection. Empowering both doctors and patients to ask questions and have honest conversations is an important part of our mission and public duty to help eliminate C-diff and other preventable infections.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 50% of antibiotics are given out unnecessarily, contributing to a 400% increase in C-diff-related deaths since 2000. In North Texas alone, 1 in 5 is a possible carrier of the C-diff germ, which can be spread via fecal contamination and exhibit symptoms such as abdominal pain or tenderness, cramping, fever, loss of appetite, nausea, and particularly all-day, week-long watery diarrhea.

The DFW Hospital Council Foundation supports the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology’s “ABCs of antibiotics,” namely:
– Ask your physician questions such as, “Do I really need an antibiotic?” or ”Can I get better without an antibiotic?”
– Bacteria only, not viruses (common cold, flu), can be killed by antibiotics.
– Complete the entire course of prescribed antibiotics, even if you feel better midway through.

Additionally, as antibiotic resistance occurs when bacterial changes reduce or eliminate an antibiotic’s ability to kill the bacteria, the APIC recommends:
• Take antibiotics only and exactly as instructed by your healthcare provider.
• Only take antibiotics prescribed for you.
X Do not save or share antibiotics prescribed to you.
X Do not pressure your healthcare provider to prescribe you antibiotics.

C-diff is the leading cause of infectious diarrhea in hospitalized patients, with the risk of exposure increasing through overuse of broad-spectrum antibiotics and among those with serious underlying health or immune-compromised conditions.

For more information about antibiotics usage and C-diff prevention tips, visit StopCDiffNow.org. To learn more about the DFW Hospital Council Foundation, its mission and members, visit dfwhcfoundation.org.

About the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council Foundation
The Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council Foundation unites North Texas hospitals and industry leaders to advance quality healthcare in the region. With more than 45 years of collaboration, the DFW Hospital Council is one of the leading hospital councils in the country and the only hospital council in Texas. Driven by elite members, the DFW Hospital Council and its foundation provide educational sessions, networking opportunities and competitive intelligence. To learn more, visit dfwhcfoundation.org, or follow us on LinkedIn.

The enclosed material was prepared and assembled by DFWHC Foundation Hospital Engagement Network, under contract with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Partnership for Patients Initiative. Contract #HHSM-500-2012-0025 Hospital Engagement Network

Media Contact

Chris Wilson
The Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council
(972) 719-4900
chrisw@dfwhc.org

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About c-diff

C-diff infections are linked to more than 20,000 American deaths every year. It is estimated that 1 in 5 North Texans could be a carrier of the C-diff germ.  Find out what you can do to help stop the spread of this dangerous infection.