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New CDC Report Outlines New Guidelines for Antibiotic Use

August 04, 2017

“Antibiotic Use in the United States, 2017—Progress and Opportunities”, a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), describes how antibiotics have saved millions of lives during the years in treating bacterial infections. The report, however, also highlights ways that the overuse or misuse of antibiotics has contributed to the development of superbugs (highly resistant bacteria), serious infections such as Clostridium difficile (CDI), poor patient outcomes, and increased patient care costs. 

To prevent these adverse side effects, the CDC is promoting its Antibiotic Stewardship Program in all areas of health care. The report provides guidelines, resources, and educational material for antibiotic use in hospitals, outpatient settings, nursing homes, physician’s offices, clinics, urgent care facilities, and dental offices. 

Some of the key points in promoting antibiotic stewardship for all settings include:

  • Formation of an interdisciplinary team
  • Data collection (measure usage of at least one antibiotic)
  • Plan of action to improve antibiotic use
  • Education to all involved with antibiotic use including health care professionals, pharmacists, patients, family members

The CDC has partnered with health care systems, state departments of health, and professional organizations such as The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, to implement these guidelines. HAP, through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Hospital Improvement and Innovation Network (HIIN), has been working aggressively with many Pennsylvania hospitals to improve antibiotic stewardship and reduce the incidence of CDI. 

For more information about the CDI/Antimicrobial Stewardship Collaborative, please contact Mary Catanzaro.  

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