Antimicrobial Stewardship: New Data and Resources from CDC

March 7, 2018 | Strategic Insights for Health System


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released Antibiotic Use in the United States, 2017: Progress and Opportunities, describing antibiotic resistance as one of the most serious public health problems in the United States. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are responsible for more than 2 million illnesses and about 23,000 deaths yearly, CDC states, even though antibiotic prescribing in outpatient settings has decreased in recent years (by 5% between 2011 and 2014). In addition to combating resistance, antimicrobial stewardship programs can reduce the risk of infections such as Candida and Clostridium difficile, allergic reactions, and drug interactions. The report also cites annual cost savings from improved prescribing of $200,000 to $400,000 in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. In both hospitals and outpatient clinics, CDC says, unnecessary prescribing is down, yet still 30% of antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary. The picture is less clear in nursing homes, partly because many antibiotic prescriptions lack necessary information for determining their appropriateness; CDC is undertaking further research in this area.

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