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A Safer Care Victoria program

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Our goal

Improving antibiotic treatment options for patients with a penicillin allergy label

More than two million Australians report an allergy to antibiotics, with 1 in 10 patients in hospitals reporting a penicillin allergy. However, studies have shown that in 85 per cent of cases, these allergy ‘labels’ are inaccurate and can be removed with a thorough allergy history and/or allergy testing.

Not assessing whether a patient is currently allergic to penicillin can lead to inappropriate or less effective antibiotic treatment options, and potentially:  

  • poor health outcomes  
  • extended hospital stays and complications  
  • increased antimicrobial resistance 
  • higher hospital readmission rates  
     

This initiative aims to improve inpatient access to penicillin allergy assessment and testing (for low-risk penicillin allergies). We are partnering with Victorian hospitals, consumers and clinical experts to open the door for health services to offer more effective treatment options.

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Last updated 30 November 2022