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Survey Shows Surveillance for Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Continues as Core Focus
SHEA Research Network Reviews Growth of Supported Antibiotic Stewardship Programs

July 17, 2019 (Arlington, VA) — Below is a summary of a study published online today in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. This article will be freely available for a limited time. SHEA members have full access to all ICHE articles through the online portal.

Title: “Current infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship program practices: A survey of the SHEA Research Network.” 

Summary: This study was conducted within the SHEA Research Network, a large consortium of healthcare facilities dedicated to conducting high-quality studies related to infection prevention and control and antibiotic stewardship. The survey demonstrates that surveillance for antibiotic-resistant bacteria continues to be a core focus for healthcare facilities. As compared to a similar 2013 survey, active surveillance for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has declined, while active surveillance for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) is now performed in half of centers. This work further highlights the growth in financially supported antibiotic stewardship programs over the past 5 years, as well as frequent use of rapid molecular diagnostic tests to expedite appropriate antibiotic therapy for patients with bloodstream infections. Finally, while half of facilities anticipated increased responsibilities for infection control and antibiotic stewardship staff, the minority anticipated increases in funding for this important work.


  • Antimicrobial stewardship programs were present in 95 facilities in 2018, an increase from 85 percent in 2013.
    • There’s been a shift in focus toward active surveillance for MDR-GN organisms, with fewer facilities reporting active MRSA surveillance, which may reflect 2015 CDC recommendations
  • Financial support for physician stewardship medical directors increased to 78 percent in 2018 from 52 percent in 2013.
  • Monitoring of environmental cleaning effectiveness was more frequent in 2018, when it was performed in 98% of facilities compared to 80 % in 2013.
  • Ultraviolet light and hydrogen peroxide mist were used for environmental cleaning in 37 and 16 percent of facilities, respectively, in 2018 and 2013.


About ICHE
Published through a partnership between the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America and Cambridge University Press, Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology provides original, peer reviewed scientific articles for anyone involved with an infection control or epidemiology program in a hospital or healthcare facility. ICHE is ranked 41st out of 89 Infectious Disease Journals in the latest Web of Knowledge Journal Citation Reports from Thomson Reuters.

The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) is a professional society representing more than 2,000 physicians and other healthcare professionals around the world who possess expertise and passion for healthcare epidemiology, infection prevention, and antimicrobial stewardship. The society’s work improves public health by establishing infection-prevention measures and supporting antibiotic stewardship among healthcare providers, hospitals, and health systems. This is accomplished by leading research studies, translating research into clinical practice, developing evidence-based policies, optimizing antibiotic stewardship, and advancing the field of healthcare epidemiology. SHEA and its members strive to improve patient outcomes and create a safer, healthier future for all. Visit SHEA online at, and @SHEA_Epi.

About Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press is part of the University of Cambridge. It furthers the University’s mission by disseminating knowledge in the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence. Its extensive peer-reviewed publishing lists comprise 45,000 titles covering academic research, professional development, over 400 research journals, school-level education, English language teaching and bible publishing. Playing a leading role in today’s international marketplace, Cambridge University Press has over 50 offices around the globe and distributes its products to nearly every country in the world. For further information about Cambridge University Press, visit