Did you know National Penicillin Allergy Day is Thursday, September 28? That’s right, 9/28 has been designated National Penicillin Allergy Day. The date was specifically chosen in honor of Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin on September 28, 1928! The goal of National Penicillin Allergy Day is to raise awareness among patients and providers about the importance of determining whether a true penicillin allergy exists. The numbers speak for themselves:
· Nine out of 10 patients reporting a penicillin allergy are not truly allergic to penicillin
· Antibiotic costs for patients reporting penicillin allergies are greater than those who are not penicillin allergic
· Patients reporting penicillin allergies have longer lengths of stay and higher incidences of infection with VRE, MRSA and C. difficile infections
Join MSHP in supporting National Penicillin Allergy Day by visiting www.nationalpenicillinallergyday.com for a tool kit to assist you in promoting penicillin allergy awareness. Some ideas on how to promote penicillin allergy awareness at your hospital include:
§ Competitions between floors via social media including success stories, allergy identification efforts, and spreading the word about penicillin allergy testing.
§ Adding content about penicillin allergy and testing to staff, hospital or patient newsletters.
§ Hanging poster(s) in a staff breakroom, and announcing NPAD at shift change huddle.
§ Creating and utilizing updated patient education materials.
§ Committing to assess allergy status during Stewardship rounds, ID Consults or during Antibiotic Time-Outs.
§ Developing implementation protocols, order sets and ways to better track penicillin allergy status.