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CDC Warns of Antibiotic Overuse in Hospitals

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, March 5, 2014

7 'Critical Components' Identified
The agency is calling for every hospital in the country to launch a focused antibiotic stewardship program and implement seven "critical components" to improve its antibiotic practices to "help us all step back from the brink" of not having effective antibiotics because emerging bacterial mutations have make the drugs ineffective. The seven components are:

  1. Commitment to the program with the necessary number of people, money, and information technology.
  2. Accountability, with a single responsible leader. Frieden said that physicians have "proven very successful in this role."
  3. Drug expertise, with a single pharmacist leader to support improved prescribing.
  4. Action, with each hospital taking at least one action to improve prescribing, such as an automatic reassessment or "pause on antibiotic prescriptions within 48 hours to make sure the drug choice is appropriate, that maybe it can be narrowed or tailored, that the dosage is appropriate, and looking at the duration."
  5. Tracking and monitoring antibiotic resistance patterns from the hospital.
  6. Reporting regularly to hospitals prescribing resistant patterns, and steps that they can take to improve practices.
  7. Education about antibiotic resistance to improve prescribing practices.
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