Infectious Disease Experts Promote Effective Antibiotic Use to Combat Drug-Resistant Bacteria

Today, and every day, 63 people will die from antibiotic-resistant infections in the United States alone, according to recent estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To help reverse this alarming trend, healthcare professionals are gathering here to further national and hospital-based research to improve the use and effectiveness of antibiotics. The two-day meeting is hosted by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA).

“The ability to treat infections successfully with antibiotics is hampered by bacterial resistance, due to their overuse and misuse,” said Elizabeth Dodds-Ashley, PharmD, MHS, co-chair of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Research Workshop. “Well-documented and properly coordinated strategies, such as stewardship of antibiotics, can work to reverse the highly dangerous trend of antibiotic resistance around the world.” 

The meeting will build a network of healthcare professionals with the knowledge and understanding of research methods to design, implement, disseminate, and assess projects related to antimicrobial stewardship. Stewardship programs and interventions help ensure that patients get the right antibiotics at the right time for the right duration. In addition to improving patient care, there is also potential for cost-saving. Research into the full potential of antibiotic stewardship is critical to continue to make progress on creating and implementing strong, effective programs.

“All healthcare facilities can improve patient outcomes and antibiotic resistance trends by focusing on efforts to eliminate unnecessary antibiotic therapies and raising patients' understanding of this issue,” said Jeffrey S. Gerber, MD, PhD, co-chair of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Research Workshop. “To effectively manage this risk, healthcare  facilities must implement stewardship programs and strategies to help ensure the appropriate use of these life-saving drugs.”

SHEA is co-organizing the Antimicrobial Stewardship Research Workshop on November 29-30 along with the Infectious Disease Society of America, the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society, and the Society of Infectious Disease Pharmacists. The meeting helps fulfill a national need for increased awareness and science based knowledge about the use of antimicrobial stewardship strategies throughout healthcare.

With this educational program, SHEA seeks to engage those interested in antimicrobial stewardship research and set the agenda for the national strategy for strengthening healthcare stewardship. 

More information is available online at http://www.asresearchworkshop.org/.  The meeting is supported by an unrestricted grant from Merck & Co. to fund the educational development and execution of this critical workshop.

Source: SHEA

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