Is Antibiotic Overuse Causing Nursing Home Illnesses?

Is Antibiotic Overuse Causing Nursing Home Illnesses

Antibiotic overuse in nursing homes is not a new topic. For example, in 2013 MEDPAGE TODAY reported that approximately 1/5th of clinicians who worked at a long-term care facility prescribed most of the antibiotics given to their elderly residents, and about half of those prescriptions were for longer than a week.  Antibiotic overuse in nursing homes seems to be a problem that still remains unresolved, potentially creating illnesses amongst residents and therefore increasing Nursing Home Insurance Liability Risks.

Why is antibiotic overuse a problem? As reported by healthcare experts in USA Today, antibiotics weaken immune systems, which is particularly dangerous for senior citizens who may already have compromised immune systems. Bacteria evolve when an individual’s immune system is suppressed, meaning they are exposed to dangerous conditions; potentially far more dangerous than the condition the antibiotic was being used to treat.

According to the CDC, the bacteria Clostridium difficile (C. diff) sickens approximately 500,000 Americans a year and is the most common health care-associated infection in the U.S. Opponents to this idea say that nursing home administrators are perhaps pointing the blame in the wrong direction, that the C. diff bacteria is not due to compromises immune systems, but perhaps to nursing home staff negligence.

Whatever the case, it’s imperative that nursing home administrators do everything in their power to improve precautions and procedures to help prevent the spread of C. diff and other potentially harmful bacteria.

At DigniCare, we understand the difficulties that come along with running a business but also focusing on the care and well-being of your residents and your staff. We offer comprehensive insurance programs including Assisted Living Insurance, Nursing Home Insurance, Independent Living Facility coverage, and insurance for Continuing Care Retirement Centers (CCRCS). We also offer a Senior Living Risk Management program. For more information, please contact us today at (855) 883-6306.

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