Intermountain Medical Center implements program to ensure balance in use of antibiotics

MURRAY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) -There's a controversy growing across the country about whether or not hospitals are relying too much on antibiotics.

Antibiotics offer tremendous benefit to patients with infectious diseases and are commonly administered to patients cared for in U.S. hospitals.

In fact, the American College of Physicians estimates that doctors prescribe 133 million courses of antibiotics each year. About 50 percent of these prescriptions are considered unnecessary since they’re prescribed for common viral infections such as the common cold or cough. To combat the overuse of antibiotics and the development of bacterial superbugs, hospitals have implemented stewardship programs in hospitals to optimize antibiotic use.

Dr. Eddie Stenehjem from Intermountain Medical Center's Department of Infectious Disease and Epidemiology, and a team of experts from throughout Intermountain Healthcare, has been studying and coordinating the implementation of antibiotic stewardship programs throughout Utah.

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