A survey of more than 400 hospitals across the United States finds that antibiotic resistance is a growing problem for American healthcare, but that effective strategies can be implemented to lower its impact. "Not just the large hospitals or referral hospitals that had antibiotic resistance, but also hospitals from different geographic regions and small and non-teaching hospitals as well."
Study author Bradley Doebbeling, professor of health services research at Indiana University School of Medicine says that when guidelines are followed, drug-resistant infection rates drop. "This is encouraging because some hospitals have assumed that it is too difficult to control, that it is something that we have to live with, that antibiotic resistance in hospital-acquired infections will continue to occur. So, it gives support for the approach to control antibiotic prescribing within the hospital."
Doebbeling says those strategies include a more targeted use of antibiotics. "We also looked at efforts to ensure that antibiotics are given just the appropriate duration, the appropriate doses and the appropriate timing."
The research is published in the October issue of the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.