Healthcare Providers: Actions to Combat Resistance

Healthcare Providers: Actions to Combat Resistance

Healthcare providers play an essential role in preventing infections and stopping the spread of germs. Patients might visit your practice with an infection or can get infections when receiving health care in a facility, called healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). These infections can be caused by antibiotic-resistant pathogens (harmful germs), which may lead to sepsis or death.

In fact, HAIs are commonly caused by antibiotic-resistant pathogens. CDC estimated in 2019 that more than 85% of antibiotic-resistant deaths estimated in the Antibiotic Resistance Threats Report were caused by seven antibiotic-resistant germs most associated with healthcare settings:

Continue following these actions to help protect your patients and people in the community from antibiotic-resistant infections.

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Protect Your Patients, Combat Antibiotic Resistance - Actions For Healthcare Providers

Download a printable fact sheet pdf icon[PDF – 1 page] of this webpage.

Help Prevent Infections and their Spread

Help Prevent Infections and their Spread

  • Ask patients if they have recently received care in another facility or traveled to another country (germs can spread easily through travel)
  • Ensure your patients receive recommended vaccines, and talk to them and their families about:
    • Preventing infections
    • Keeping scrapes and wounds clean
    • Managing chronic conditions
    • Seeking medical care when an infection is not getting better
    • Understanding when antibiotics are needed
  • Alert the receiving facility when transferring patients who are colonized or infected with antibiotic-resistant germs, and ask colleagues to use an Inter-Facility Infection Control Transfer Form  pdf icon[PDF – 3 pages]
  • Educate patients on ways to prevent spread of germs and infections, for example share ways to be a safe patient while in the hospital
  • Stay informed of current outbreaks
Improve Antibiotic Prescribing

Improve Antibiotic Prescribing

Antibiotics save lives, but any time they are used it can cause side effects and lead to antibiotic resistant infections.

Be Alert and Take Action

Be Alert and Take Action

  • Be aware of infections and resistance patterns in your facility and community
  • Ensure you are notified by the lab immediately when antibiotic-resistant germs are identified in your patients
  • Inform patients and families if they have an antibiotic-resistant infection, as well as sexual partners when appropriate (e.g., gonorrhea)
  • Know when to report cases and submit resistant isolates to the health department to identify unusual resistance or treatment failures (e.g., report gonorrhea isolates with decreased cephalosporin susceptibility or clinical treatment failure to CDC through your state or local public health authority)