Tracking system to help CDC monitor hospital med use

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched a new antibiotic use tracking system for hospitals, designed to increase the appropriateness of antibiotic prescribing. The system will enable hospitals to monitor antibiotic use electronically, make better decisions about how to improve that use, and compare themselves to other facilities, according to the CDC.

The antibiotic use tracking system is part of CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network, which monitors infections in more than 4,800 hospitals. CDC is funding four health departments to install the tracking system in 70 hospitals.

In addition, any hospital that participates in the National Healthcare Safety Network can work directly with its pharmacy software vendor to transmit antibiotic prescribing data electronically from drug administration or barcoding records. No manual data entry will be required.

CDC is partnering with healthcare providers to promote appropriate antibiotic use in healthcare facilities and doctors' offices to preserve the strength of existing antibiotics and prevent resistant infections. Up to half of antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary, the CDC says.

CDC also announced a partnership with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to pilot-test a tool to help hospitals implement practical strategies to improve antibiotic use. The pilot currently is under way in eight U.S. hospitals. 

To learn more:
- read the CDC press release