'Breakthrough' index should inform antibiotic prescribing in nursing homes, other healthcare facilities

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A new index that will help track and control antibiotic resistance in healthcare facilities will be released in July, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

The Antibiotic Use and Resistance reporting module will be the first antibiotic prescribing index allowing healthcare facilities to compare their prescribing practices with similar providers, CDC director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, wrote in his blog post, “Where Are The Hot Spots For Antibiotic Resistance?”. The post was featured in The Health Care Blog on June 24.

The electronic module will be part of the National Healthcare Safety Network, which includes nursing homes among 12,000 participating facilities. NHSN participants and health departments will be able to utilize data from the new index to build a comprehensive system of antibiotic prescriptions and drug susceptibility test results, Frieden noted. This should make it easier to identify hot spots for antibiotic resistance and to organize interventions on local, regional and national levels, he added.

For a full and quick implementation of the module, CDC plans to draw on a proposed a $14 million increase in their 2015 budget to Congress.

With the funding, CDC plans to create “web-based tools and provider apps so physicians will gain access to facility- and community-specific data” on the most effective antibiotic for specific treatment, Frieden wrote.

Stewardship programs such as these will not only improve patient care but may also decrease treatment costs and contribute to the research of new antibiotics, he said.

To read the rest of his blog post, click here.

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