Premier Communications
SafetyShare® newsletter brought to you by the Premier Safety Institute®
March 4, 2016

Editor: Gina Pugliese RN MS


More work needed to protect patients from the urgent threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC warns.

Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its March 2016 Vital Signs report focused on protecting patients from healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), including those caused by antibiotic resistant (AR) bacteria. Many of the most urgent and serious antibiotic-resistant bacteria CDC warned of in its 2013 Antibiotic Resistant Threat Report threaten patients while they are being treated in healthcare facilities for other conditions and may lead to sepsis or death. Some of these infections might be impossible to successfully treat with any antibiotic.

CDC reports that 1 in 7 catheter and surgery related HAIs in acute care and 1 in 4 infections in long-term acute care hospitals are caused by one of the six most urgent antibiotic-resistant bacteria and Clostridioides difficile. C.difficile is included among the urgent and serious threats and although it is not drug resistant, the infections that C. difficile causes and its spread are similar to the antibiotic-resistant bacteria and exacerbated by inappropriate antibiotic use and inadequate infection control. In a recent study on the impact of C.difficile , Premier found that the majority of cases analyzed were associated with concomitant antibiotic use.

Progress has been made but more work to do

The national data in the Vital Signs report and the CDC's latest annual progress report on HAI prevention show that hospitals have achieved success in reducing HAIs and infection control is working. Hospitals have cut central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) by 50 percent and decreased surgical site infections linked to 10 target procedures by 17 percent. But more work needs to be done.

Hospital members of Premier have been taking steps to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria. They're working together in a nationwide collaborative initiative to reduce the use of unnecessary and duplicative intravenous (IV) antibiotics and implement the CDC's core elements for antibiotic stewardship programs (ASPs).

Serious bacterial threats causing HAIs Antibiotic-resistant

  1.  Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)

  2.  Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

  3.  ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae (extended-spectrum β-lactamases)

  4.  Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE)

  5.  Multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa

  6.  Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter Not antibiotic resistant

  7.  Clostridioides difficile

Interactive patient safety atlas

The CDC also released the Antibiotic Resistance Patient Safety Atlas, a new web app with interactive data on HAIs caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria that provides maps showing trends in resistance of superbug/drug combinations.

CDC message to providers

CDC is urging doctors, nurses, pharmacists, healthcare facility administrators and state and local health departments to continue to do their part of prevent HAIs. This includes use of a combination of infection control recommendations and critical efforts to better protect patients from HAIs and antibiotic resistance:

  • Prioritize: Make infection prevention, sepsis prevention and antibiotic stewardship a priority.
  • Prevent infections and their spread : Follow recommendations for infection control every patient every time; isolate patients when appropriate; know your antibiotic resistance patterns in your facility/area.
  • Improve antibiotic use: Establish ASPs and enroll your hospital to submit data to CDC's Antimicrobial Use and Resistance (AUR) Module to target improvements; prescribe antibiotics correctly; get cultures, start antibiotics promptly, and reassess 24-48 hours later; and know when to stop antibiotic treatment.

Premier's commitment

Premier with its members are committed to reducing HAIs, including those acquired due to antibiotic resistance. Premier provides technology solutions, advisory services, educational webinars, Premier Safety Institute® best practices and websites, and collaboratives for healthcare providers to reduce preventable harm from inappropriate antibiotic use.

Additional resources


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