New CDC Tool to Track Antibiotic Use & Resistance

Antibiotic resistance is quickly becoming one of the most serious threats facing our health care system. Last fall, the CDC issued a report which found that 2 million people acquire an antibiotic resistant infection each year in the US, of whom at least 23,000 die as a result.

To help address this threat, the CDC is releasing a new tool, the Antibiotic Use and Resistance (AUR) reporting module, which will enable all hospitals in the US to track and control antibiotic resistant bacteria. The tool will electronically monitor antibiotic prescriptions and results of drug susceptibility tests.

At The Health Care Blog, CDC Director Tom Frieden explains what this will help accomplish:

With this module, we’ll be able to create the first antibiotic prescribing index. This index will help benchmark antibiotic use across health care facilities for the first time, allowing facilities to compare their data with similar facilities. It will help facilities and local and state health departments as well as CDC to  identify hot spots within a city or a region.

We’ll be able to answer the questions: Which facilities are prescribing more antibiotics? How many types of resistant bacteria and fungi are they seeing? Do prescribing practices predict the number of resistant infections and outbreaks a facility will face?  Ultimately with this information, we’ll be able to both improve prescribing practices and identify and stop outbreaks in a way we have never done before.

Read more at The Health Care Blog.

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