The CDC plan to create state networks of public health and healthcare facilities to prevent Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and Clostridium difficile infections includes the following key tenets:
- Infections and antibiotic use in one facility affect other facilities because of patient transfers.
- Public health leadership is critical so that facilities are alerted to data about resistant infections, C. difficile, or outbreaks in the area, and can target effective prevention strategies.
- When facilities are alerted to increased threat levels, they can improve antibiotic use and infection control actions so that patients are better protected.
- National efforts to prevent infections and improve antibiotic prescribing could prevent 619,000 antibiotic-resistant and C. difficile infections over 5 years.
State and local health departments
- Identify the healthcare facilities in the area and how they are connected. Know their infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship activities.
- Dedicate staff to improve connections and coordination with healthcare facilities in the area.
- Work with CDC to use data for action to better prevent infections and improve antibiotic use in healthcare settings.
- Know the antibiotic resistance threats in the area and state.
Healthcare facility administrators
- Implement systems to alert receiving facilities when transferring patients who have drug-resistant germs.
- Review and perfect infection control actions within your facility.
- Get leadership commitment to start or join HAI/antibiotic resistance prevention activities in the area.
- Connect with the public health department to share data about antibiotic resistance and other HAIs.
- Make sure clinical staff have access to prompt and accurate laboratory testing for antibiotic-resistant germs.
Prescribers and healthcare staff
- Prescribe antibiotics correctly. Get cultures then start the right drug promptly at the right dose for the right duration. Know when to stop antibiotics.
- Be aware of antibiotic resistance patterns in your facility and area to protect your patients.
- Ask patients if they have recently received care in another facility.
- Follow hand hygiene and other infection control measures with every patient.
Patients and families
- Ask your healthcare provider what they and the facility will do to protect you and your family from an antibiotic-resistant or C. difficile infection.
- Tell your doctor if you have been hospitalized in another facility.
- Insist that everyone wash their hands before touching you, and wash your hands often.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vital Signs: Estimated Effects of a Coordinated Approach for Action to Reduce Antibiotic-Resistant Infections in Health Care Facilities — United States. MMWR 2015;64(30);826-831