White House hosts forum on battle against antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Following its release of an action plan to deal with antibiotic resistance in the United States, the White House held a forum Tuesday that brought together multiple stakeholders in a joint effort to prevent the advancement of this threat, reports  Hospitals and Health Networks. According to the article, 2 million people get antibiotic-resistant infections each year and there are 23,000 related deaths.
The White House highlighted four health systems and their work in combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

  • Ascension Health, St. Louis, is implementing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Core Elements of Hospital Antibiotic Stewardship Programs in all of its hospitals.
  • HCA, Nashville, Tenn., plans to develop clinical decision support systems related to antibiotic use for speedier identification of improper use of antibiotics and subsequent action.
  • Intermountain Healthcare set a 2020 goal to reduce inappropriate use of antibiotics in outpatient settings for upper respiratory conditions by 50 percent. It also will establish an antibiotic stewardship programs in all of its hospitals by 2017.
  • Kaiser Permanente has set guidance on prescribing practices, which includes electronic alerts and order sets.

In Part 2 of the article, Hospitals and Health Networks reports that attendees felt the forum was productive and may quicken advances in the battle against antibiotic resistance. In the article, James Hunter, M.D., chief medical officer for the Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte, N.C., said, “To have all the different constituencies there and all committed to and frankly speaking about how we can advance antibiotic stewardship, and the importance of it, really worked out well.”

Also this week:

FDA medical device recall and recommendations
The FDA issued a recall of AVEA ventilators manufactured, serviced and distributed from July 1, 2011, to March 15, 2015. The recall is in response to a potential malfunction of an AVEA ventilator-specific 5 psi pressure transducer.

OSHA publishes guidance on restroom access for transgender employees
At the request of the National Center for Transgender Equality, an Occupational Safety and Health Administration Alliance partner, OSHA published a “Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers” on Monday.  “The core principle is that all employees, including transgender employees, should have access to restrooms that correspond to their gender identity,” said David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.

AHA weighs in on hazardous drug handling guidance
The American Hospital Association issued comments regarding hazardous drug handling in health care to the United States Pharmacopeial Convention. The AHA recommends that USP’s guidance should be designated as best practices rather than an enforceable standard. 

CDC issues bird flu alert
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health alert on Tuesday regarding highly pathogenic avian influenza A H5 viruses identified in more than 200 birds in the United States since December 2014. The CDC considers the risk to the general public from these newly identified viruses to be low, but issues recommendations on surveillance and testing, worker protection and infection control.

Joint Commission publishes compliance tips
The Joint Commission released tips for complying with Environment of Care standard EC.02.03.05 elements of performance 11-13, which involve fire pumps, standpipe systems and automatic fire-extinguishing systems in a kitchen.