According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), health care facilities and providers in the United States are making progress on healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). The agency also notes that there is more to be done, especially as it relates to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Its latest Vital Signs report examines the superbugs causing HAIs and urges healthcare workers and facilities to adopt best practices to continue protecting patients from these conditions.
“New data show that far too many patients are getting infected with dangerous, drug-resistant bacteria in healthcare settings,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Doctors and healthcare facilities have the power to protect patients – no one should get sick while trying to get well.”
In fiscal year 2016, Congress appropriated $160 million in new funding to implement activities in the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-resistant Bacteria. The CDC will use the funds to accelerate outbreak detection and prevention in every state; enhance tracking of resistance mechanisms and resistant infections; support innovative research to address current gaps in knowledge; and improve antibiotic use.
“The good news is that we are preventing healthcare acquired infections, which has saved thousands of lives,” said Patrick Conway, M.D., M.Sc., Deputy Administrator and Chief Medical Officer at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. “The challenge ahead is how we help to prevent antibiotic resistance as well as infections. We are using incentives, changes in care delivery, and transparency to improve safety and quality for patients.”
This increased attention from the CDC comes while the District of Columbia Hospital Association, Department of Health, Public Health Laboratory, and OpGen are in the middle of a proactive and innovative point prevalence study on Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). This study will allow the District and providers to gain a better insight into the prevalence of CRE in the District and how to combat the multi-drug resistant organism. Currently, eight facilities have completed their sample collection, which will continue through the end of this month.