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Action items may carry more weight in final plan
Infection control issues, which have been elevated to a top priority in federal task force plans to stem the tide of antibiotic resistance, included the following "action items" in the draft version of the document:
- Identify factors that promote or impede judicious drug use in hospitals, extended care facilities, and outpatient settings, working in collaboration with health policy researchers and organizations that can help implement antibiotic resistance prevention and control strategies.
- Develop judicious drug use policies and evaluate the effectiveness (including cost-effectiveness) of implementing these policies in hospitals and other health care delivery settings. Identify ways to increase adherence to judicious use policies proven to be effective.
- Help individual hospitals and health care systems analyze how the availability of antibiotic resistance data and computer-assisted decision support systems influence prescriber behavior, health outcomes, and costs.
That may include the provision of computer software and the establishment of projects that involve the Medicare Peer Review Organizations.
- Identify factors that promote transmission of drug-resistant pathogens in health care facilities, in extended care facilities, and in community settings such as day-care centers. They may include characteristics of the facilities and of the populations that they serve.
- Evaluate the effectiveness (including cost-effectiveness) of current and novel infection-control strategies used in hospitals and other health care delivery settings.
- Identify ways to increase adherence to infection control practices proven to be effective in previous studies.
- Evaluate the cost-effectiveness and impact on patient care and drug resistance of medical devices that incorporate anti-infective compounds to prevent infection (e.g. anti-infective urinary catheters and prosthetic heart valves). Where appropriate, encourage the clinical use of these devices.
- Encourage the development of clinical alternatives to those invasive medical procedures and devices that increase the risk of infection in hospitals and other health care settings, e.g. substitution of transcutaneous monitoring of blood oxygen levels of indwelling catheters.
- Conduct a public health campaign to promote hand hygiene and other hygienic practices that prevent the transmission of infectious organisms, in collaboration with professional societies and stakeholders. The campaign may be coordinated with the public health education strategy to promote judicious antimicrobial use.