With the misuse and overuse of antibiotics driving drug resistance in general and emerging Clostridium difficile in particular, infection preventionists and health care epidemiologists want to have a greater role in antimicrobial stewardship programs.
It may seem surprising that this point even has to be made, but for too often and too long there has been something of a disconnect between prescribing physicians and their infectious disease colleagues. A wide variety of multidrug resistant organisms (MDROs) have emerged under selective pressure of massive antibiotic misuse – a lot of it in the outpatient setting — with the very real threat of a “post-antibiotic” era underscored time and again. More recently, C. diff has driven discussions of reining in drug use, as antibiotic therapy can clear a niche for the now widespread virulent NAP-1 strain of the spore-forming bacillus to set up in the patient’s gut.
What can infection preventionists and health care epidemiologists bring to the table? Plenty, says the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA). In a joint position paper they emphasize that they are the professional organizations with the historical focus, expertise and credibility in articulating and implementing best practices in antimicrobial stewardship and infection prevention and control. Specific contributions they can make to multidisciplinary drug stewardship programs include:
- Identification of MDROs detected among the population served by a health care facility
- As part of surveillance, the monitoring and reporting of trends over time involving MDROs
- Oversight of the use of standard and transmission-based precautions aimed at preventing cross transmission of pathogens
- Compliance with hand hygiene
- Use of surveillance data to inform risk assessment and planning for prevention of infection
- Education of clinicians on prudent and appropriate use of antibiotics
- Development of clinical algorithms for treating infections
- Audit, analysis and reporting of data on HAIs
- Implementation of strategies aimed at prevention of infection and elements involving prescribing and therapeutic use of antimicrobials, (e.g., guidelines, decision support involving order/entry, de-escalation)
To get the lastest advice and tips on preventing C. diff infections tune in to for our upcoming educational progam:
Clostridium difficile Colitis: Prevention and Management on
Thursday, March 22 from 12:00 – 1:30pm. In this 90-minute streaming webinar, Infection Prevention Consultant Leah Frederick MS, RN, CIC, will give you practical tips to protect your patients. The experienced IP will discuss the characteristics and transmission of CDI, monitoring these infections, and recommended practices for prevention and control.
• Discuss 2 features of the microorganism C. diff which make transmission difficult to control in the healthcare setting
• List the elements of a program to recognize and prevent CDI and transmission in the healthcare setting
• Discuss the importance of hand hygiene and environmental cleaning in prevention of transmission of C. diff
• Describe resources for controlling CDI in the healthcare setting
1.5 CNE Credits
Only $299 to attend
Meet Your Expert
Leah Frederick has successfully developed Infection Prevention and Control Programs for new hospitals, and led organizations in improving existing programs. She specializes in leading organizations to decrease and prevent healthcare-acquired infections and providing the most up-to-date information on regulatory compliance.
For questions or comments call Customer Service at 800-688-2421 or 404-262-5476