At today’s AHA Annual Membership Meeting opening plenary, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden, M.D., urged hospitals to build on the partnerships established to fight Ebola to combat antibiotic resistance in their communities. “No one facility can do this in isolation – it shows the critical importance of partnership and of continuity of care,” said Frieden. According to the CDC, there are more than one million healthcare-associated infections per year across the American health system, costing approximately $30 billion. Frieden said, “Antibiotic resistance especially is a threat to our economic stability and to modern medicine.” He said that surveillance, response and prevention are fundamental and cited several CDC initiatives specific to antibiotic resistance, including the National Healthcare Safety Network Antibiotic Use and Resistance Module that hospitals across the country are implementing. AHA’s Physician Leadership Forum last year released an antibiotic stewardship toolkit for hospitals as part of its Appropriate Use of Medical Resources series.

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