CDC Launches New Electronic tool to Monitor Antibiotic Use

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Because of the different diseases that erupt in the present generation, broader ranges of medications are being discovered and developed. These include antibiotic drugs. This classification of drug is synonymous with antibacterial medications that either kills or slows down the rate of bacterial growth.

Penicillin is the oldest example of which. Often times, people seem to get confused between antibiotic with antiviral drugs. These two are apparently not the same; antibacterial treats diseases that bacteria in origin while antiviral cure viral diseases like flu, colds and the likes. However, the use of antibiotic agents should be taken with care. It should not be taken without doctor’s prescription since the fight against bacterial infection may vary the specific antibiotic that should be taken.

The prescribed number of this drug should be consumed even the patient is feeling better because the moment antibiotic drug is taken, the higher the chance that the same microorganism will have resistance against that specific antibiotic. The higher the resistance and the more drugs that certain microorganisms develops this resistance, the more difficult it is to treat a specific disease.

In connection with this, the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) has released a new electronic tool to monitor antibiotic use in hospitals to help and monitor the usage of antibiotic drugs in the hospital. The new tracking tool is part of the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network, a Web-based surveillance system that uses data from 4,800 hospitals to track infections. Presently, antibiotic use in doctor’s offices is followed but not in hospitals according to the CDC.

“Overuse and misuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance, allergic reactions, and even increased risk for Clostridium difficile, a potentially deadly infection that causes diarrhea”, the CDC said.

A recent study even suggested that through facilities’ sewers, antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” born in hospitals may enter the wider environment.

“Antibiotic use leads to antibiotic resistance, which is a major public health problem,” CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, said in a press release. “Hospitals and other healthcare facilities should monitor the antibiotics used in their facilities. This new system is a powerful tool that will enhance providers’ ability to monitor and improve patterns of antibiotic use so that these essential drugs will still be effective in the years to come.”

Those hospitals that already submit data National Health Care Safety Network (secure, internet-based surveillance system that integrates and expands legacy patient and healthcare personnel safety surveillance systems managed by the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP) at CDC) can participate in the antibiotic tracking system by electronically sending pharmacy data from their drug administration records.

As part of the “Get Smart About Antibiotics Week,” an international effort to curb unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics and to prevent infections, this surveillance tool was about to help.




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