In the 1940s the introduction of penicillin was considered one of the largest breakthroughs in medical history.
As much good as antibiotics have done, there is a staggering new epidemic possible that Brett Dragomer, antimicrobial stewardship pharmacist at McLaren Greater Lansing, is trying to get ahead of.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that each year in the United States, at least 2 million people get an antibiotic-resistant infection. The antibiotic-resistant bacteria causing these infections are a result of antibiotic overuse, which is common in our country.
“There is a sweet spot of making sure the patient is getting the right treatment dosage and for the right amount of time, without overuse of antibiotics, which can lead to a global threat,” said Dragomer. “After reviewing a patient’s chart, I can help determine if it’s time to switch from IV to oral antibiotics. I can also help determine if a patient needs less, more or a different antibiotic.”
The new position at McLaren Greater Lansing was created to keep the community and patients safe. Through education, having more resources available, and writing better policies and protocols, pharmacists, nurses and physicians are looking to manage antibiotics more effectively.
“The collaboration between physicians, nurses and pharmacists has been great, and the teamwork here is amazing,” said Dragomer. “At the end of the day everyone wants to make sure the patient is taken care of.”