Top five key messages about antibiotic resistance

Published in NPS Direct

Date published: About this date

Clinical content may change after this date. This information is not intended as a substitute for medical advice from a qualified health professional. Health professionals should rely on their own expertise and enquiries when providing medical advice or treatment.

1. Health professionals play a role

Antibiotic resistance is a global health problem.  At an individual level, health professionals play a role in preventing antibiotic resistance by continuing to improve prescribing practices and positively influencing patient attitudes and expectations about antibiotics.

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2.    Patient communication is essential

Patient satisfaction is more likely to be influenced by good communication than a prescription for an antibiotic. Establish patient beliefs and expectations about antibiotics and tailor communication strategies accordingly.

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3.    Manage acute respiratory tract infections

  • Explain why antibiotics may not be appropriate
  • Provide advice on  self-management
  • Discuss antibiotic resistance
  • Consider benefits and risks before ordering an imaging test
  • Follow prescribing principles that minimise antibiotic resistance
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4. Provide written information and verbal advice

Written patient information materials, along with interventions to improve communication during consultations, can reduce antibiotic prescribing. The symptomatic management pad can help you remind patients of the things they can do.

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5. Use patient resources

It can be hard for patients to remember to take antibiotics on time. NPS Medicinewise developed the Antibiotics Reminder app that can help:

  • set alerts to take antibiotics
  • track the doses
  • record recovery in a diary.

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