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Using Antibiotics Wisely Across Canada 2018

Using Antibiotics Wisely launched in 2017 to raise awareness around the importance of clinician and patient conversations about unnecessary antibiotic use. This year, with support from Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the College of Family Physicians of Canada, the Using Antibiotics Wisely campaign focused its efforts on reducing unnecessary antibiotics for acute upper respiratory tract infections in primary care and asymptomatic bacteriuria in long-term care.

On November 1, 2018, Choosing Wisely Canada and partners released new tools and resources in primary care developed by the campaign. Dr. Guylène Thériault, Choosing Wisely Canada’s Primary Care Co-Lead and a family physician in Gatineau, Quebec presented to over 100 attendees on Choosing Wisely Talks, a monthly webinar series presented by the Canadian Medical Association.

In addition to the launch, Choosing Wisely Canada and campaign regional/territorial affiliates celebrated Antibiotic Awareness Week (November 12 -18) with a variety activities from coast-to-coast. Antibiotic Awareness Week is a global event, aiming to increase the awareness of antibiotic resistance and encourage best practices among the public, patients, and clinicians.

Here are a few highlights of the activities that took place:

Choosing Wisely Newfoundland:


Choosing Wisely Newfoundland (NL) in collaboration with Quality of Care NL created a new video with radio host Paddy Daly. The short video encourages the public to talk to their health care provider and ask “Do I really need these antibiotics?” Choosing Wisely NL also released an article in the Memorial University Gazette on the efforts to reduce unnecessary antibiotic use in the province.

Choosing Wisely Northwest Territories 

Choosing Wisely NWT set up display booths at various health centres throughout the Northwest Territories to engage with staff and the public about reducing unnecessary antibiotic use.

Choosing Wisely Nunavut: 

Infectious disease leads at Qikiqtani General Hospital developed a culturally appropriate antibiotics awareness poster that was shared with staff and the public.

In addition to these local efforts, Choosing Wisely regional/territorial affiliates released blogs, news items, and shared tools on social media to help spread the message of using antibiotics wisely.

We would like to thank our campaign partners and our wide community of clinicians, patients, health system leaders and administrators for their ongoing efforts in support of Choosing Wisely Canada. This support will help us to achieve our goals of raising awareness and starting conversations about the harms of unnecessary antibiotic use.

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