The White House today issued a five-year plan to reduce the threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The plan seeks to slow the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria and prevent the spread of resistant infections; strengthen and integrate surveillance systems that monitor human and animal pathogens; advance the development and use of rapid and innovative diagnostic tests; accelerate research and development of new antibiotics, therapeutics and vaccines; and improve international collaboration and capacities. Targeted outcomes by 2020 include establishing antimicrobial stewardship programs in all acute-care hospitals and improved antimicrobial stewardship across all health care settings, and reducing inappropriate antibiotic use by 50% in outpatient settings and 20% in inpatient settings. For more information, see the White House factsheet. Last July, the AHA and six national partners released a toolkit to help hospitals and health systems develop and enhance their antimicrobial stewardship programs. According to a 2013 AHA Physician Leadership Forum white paper, appropriate use of antibiotics is one of five areas where hospitals, in partnership with their clinical staff and patients, should look to reduce non-beneficial care through appropriate use of medical resources.

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