This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a Vital Signs report identifying the threats associated with antibiotic resistance (AR) and recommending “early and aggressive action” to prevent resistant pathogens from spreading in health care facilities. The containment strategy that the CDC describes is a holistic approach to prevent the spread of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs).

The AHA supports and amplifies the work of the CDC to increase awareness among health care leaders, clinical labs and health care providers, including infection prevention and control professionals, of all the issues related to antibiotic resistance and of the resources available to support this work from the CDC and state and local health departments.  

In addition, the AHA offers many resources that complement the CDC’s prevention efforts, particularly through the AHA/Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN). The AHA/HRET HIIN supports more than 1,600 acute care hospitals in their efforts to control transmission of MDROs. The AHA recognizes the importance of employing effective strategies and tactics to control transmission, including surveillance; implementation of antibiotic stewardship programs, such as those from the AHA Physician Alliance; hand hygiene adherence; patient and family engagement; and systems approaches to equipment cleaning and appropriate precautions to prevent transmission.  AHA/HRET HIIN hospitals are also committed to reducing the prevalence of MRSA bacteremia by September 2018.

AHA/HRET provides these resources to support health care organizations in their MDRO-prevention efforts:

On top of providing HIIN resources, HRET also supports many hospitals across the U.S. through infection prevention-specific initiatives, such as the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Safety Program for Intensive Care Units: Preventing Central Line-associated Bloodstream Infections and Catheter-associated Urinary Tract Infections and the CDC STRIVE (States Targeting Reduction in Infections via Engagement) project. These projects bring together national and local subject matter experts, state health departments and other state partners, including state hospital associations and quality improvement organizations, with hospitals to support and provide resources to prevent the spread of disease, including MDROs.

Preventing MDRO infections is part of creating a safe health care environment for patients, families and health care professionals. Such an environment also involves rounding together, huddling together and planning patient care together—that is, working together with one vision of creating a climate and culture of safety and quality. We thank the CDC for their continued leadership and partnership on these important patient safety issues.

 

Jay Bhatt, D.O., is chief medical officer of the American Hospital Association and president of the Health Research & Educational Trust.

 

 

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