Antibiotic initiative includes stewardship oversight

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

October 14, 2015

Antibiotic resistance has reached a "tipping point," according to a Vital Signs report released in August by the CDC. Internal hospital controls are no longer sufficient to prevent the spread of antibiotic-resistant organisms. Now, healthcare providers across the country should be transitioning to a community approach to effectively control the growing threat of antibiotic resistance.

For healthcare facilities, that means alerting surrounding providers of potential antibiotic resistance when transferring a patient, joining healthcare-associated infection (HAI) prevention activities within the community, making sure staff have access to prompt and accurate laboratory testing, and relaying information about antibiotic resistance to their public health department.

This approach, in conjunction with local, state, and federal public health departments, will spark necessary changes to the way communities prevent antibiotic-resistant organisms. Ideally, this coordinated approach will create a system of alerts that providers can use to improve awareness around resistance.

The CDC estimates that a national, coordinated approach to antibiotic stewardship could prevent more than 600,000 antibiotic-resistant HAIs over the next five years and save 37,000 lives. Using large- and small-scale models, the CDC estimates that this approach could also reduce carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) acquisitions by 74% over five years in a 10-facility network of healthcare providers, and 55% in a 102-facilty network.

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