Making Healthcare Safer: Protect Patients from Antibiotic Resistance
Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its March Vital Signs report focused on protecting patients from healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), including those caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria. Many of the most urgent and serious antibiotic-resistant bacteria CDC warned of in the 2013 Antibiotic Resistant Threat Report threaten patients while they are being treated in healthcare facilities for other conditions. Although national and state progress has been made in preventing HAIs, more work needs to be done.
The latest report urges healthcare workers to use a combination of infection control recommendations to better protect patients from HAIs and antibiotic resistance, which can cause other complications such as sepsis. Healthcare providers need to combine three critical efforts to prevent an HAI and protect patients:
- Prevent the spread of bacteria between patients;
- Prevent infections related to surgery and/or placement of a catheter; and
- Improve antibiotic use through stewardship.
In addition to the latest Vital Signs report, CDC is also releasing its new Antibiotic Resistance Patient Safety Atlas, an interactive web app on healthcare-associated infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The tool uses data reported to CDC from more than 4,000 healthcare facilities to provide national, regional, and state map views of superbug/drug combinations showing percent resistance over time.