ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Hospitals and doctors go above and beyond to care for their patients, and keeping a high standard can help cut down how many people get sick during cold and flu season.
The state said Olmsted Medical Center’s approach toward that cause is worth “gold level” praise when it comes to making sure bugs already in circulation don’t get stronger.
The Minnesota Department of Health gives gold level recognition to hospitals that collaborate, and look beyond just their own facility to practice antibiotic stewardship.
With cold and flu season upon us, it’s important to remember there can be too much of a good thing when it comes to medication.
“The biggest is forming resistance to the antibiotics. So everybody has germs in their body all the time, and if you have a germ that’s exposed to an antibiotic it will adapt so that the antibiotic doesn’t kill it any longer,” said Dr. Steven Adamson, who specializes in Family Medicine at OMC.
To help avoid that scenario, OMC is not only caring for its own patients, it’s also monitoring several local long-term care facilities and nursing homes in and around the Rochester area.
“This involves antibiotic stewardship. So what does that mean? We want to make sure that antibiotics are used for the things that they’re intended to be used for,” Dr. Adamson. “And we want to make sure that they’re not used for the things that they’re not intended to be used for.”
At the heart of the effort: record keeping.
“The other thing that we do that’s also helpful to nursing homes is we give it what’s called an antibiogram. And that gives everybody an idea of what the current resistance patterns of the germs are what antibiotics are supposed to be used, and that kind of thing,” said Dr. Adamson.
OMC remains in contact with each organization weekly. Patients are audited to ensure appropriate follow-up, resolution of infection, quality of life after treatment, and peer review of any complications.