(Arlington, VA) – The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) announced it will complete a series of educational and advocacy efforts to improve the use of antibiotics and reduce the emergence of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria as part of the Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Challenge, a yearlong effort coordinated by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to accelerate the fight against antimicrobial resistance across the globe. Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people get an antibiotic-resistant infection, and at least 23,000 people die from these bacteria that are not treatable with known antibiotics.
“It is difficult for any one healthcare provider, hospital, or organization to have a measurable impact on reducing the national burden of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. However, by joining together under the collective action of the AMR Challenge with the world watching, we have the opportunity to incite and create change and make real progress,” said Keith Kaye, MD, MPH, president of SHEA. “Together, we can hold our community accountable, raise awareness and make a difference to limit the emergence of antibiotic resistance.”
Antibiotic stewardship refers to a set of coordinated strategies to improve the use of antimicrobial medications with the goal of enhancing patient health outcomes, reducing resistance to antibiotics, and decreasing unnecessary costs of treatment. These interventions help physicians choose the right antibiotic, at the right dose, and for the right duration. Stewardship strategies are central to preventing the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and limiting the spread of these dangerous pathogens.
SHEA today pledged to lead several multi-year commitments aimed at creating a standard of practice for appropriate antibiotic use in all inpatient and long-term care facilities in the U.S., with an acceleration in adoption of antibiotic stewardship practices in outpatient settings. These commitments will prepare a workforce of healthcare professionals to lead and implement infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship programs through access to state-of-the-art educational content to support the continued improvement of the quality of healthcare delivery.
SHEA made eight commitments, which include:
“SHEA is a professional society of researchers and practitioners whose voices and expertise are critical in the development of rational, effective, and cost-conscious public policies. Our members represent excellence in healthcare epidemiology, infection prevention, and antibiotic stewardship. We enthusiastically accept the AMR Challenge to accelerate our efforts as part of the global fight against AMR,” said Hilary Babcock, MD, MPH, president-elect of SHEA and an attendee at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
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 www.shea-online.org, www.facebook.com/SHEApreventingHAIs and @SHEA_Epi.
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