When the White House released its National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria last year, it was clear that the five goals laid out would take a cooperative effort from public health, health care, pharmaceutical, food and other private industries with efforts spanning nationally, regionally and locally.
Boiling the scope down to an organizational level, health care systems are forming and perfecting internal partnerships to knock down antibiotic resistance. However, infection prevention efforts have to make it outside the hospital’s walls to optimize their effectiveness.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s all too common for patients to be transferred from one facility to another without all of the necessary communication and infection control actions — e.g., even independent efforts in which facilities work to enhance internal infection control efforts, but are not alerted to outbreaks in other facilities in their area.
As part of its role in the National Action Plan, the CDC is moving public health and health care officials to a coordinated approach with two major goals:
- Public health departments track and alert health care facilities to antibiotic-resistant germs coming from other facilities and outbreaks in the area;
- Facilities and public health authorities share information and implement shared infection control actions to stop the spread of germs from facility to facility.
It's Year 2 of the White House’s National Action Plan and to meet its 2020 goals, including reducing the incidence of Clostridium difficile infections by 50 percent and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae infections by 60 percent, health systems will have to put in a concerted team effort. That effort should include sharing best practices regarding how facilities are built, cleaned and maintained.